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Current Queensland Synod moderator, Rev David Baker.
Queensland Synod moderator, Rev David Baker. Photo: Supplied

Moderator’s Musing – 17 July

So we’re back from the 15th Assembly, working through the decisions made, and helping explain the discernments we made.

As I said on my personal Facebook post, I was deeply encouraged this Assembly—it struck me more than past Assemblies—as the wonderful younger leadership coming into the life of the church (they say that anyone 15 years younger than oneself is considered “younger”).

Young women and men, people from a diversity of cultural backgrounds—leading in worship, opening the scriptures with the authority of people who’ve studied well; standing to the microphone and articulating their thoughts; it was quite inspiring.

Besides the marriage proposals, there were a few proposals that had me a bit concerned, but the small group work, the discernment on the floor of the meeting, let us to wise and considered outcomes.

As you’d imagine, I’ve had some feedback from the marriage discernment and I’ve been in close touch with leaders across the state.

I know some folk are finding this challenging; that its causing them heartache and concern. I hear that a few churches have set aside 30 to 40 days for prayer and fasting. I’ve decided to do this, too.

Paul in Corinthians says, if one part of the body suffers, we all suffer together. So I will be fasting one meal a day, praying, reading and meditating on Romans and Galatians. I know others, who are in agreement with the discernment of the Assembly, are also committing to fasting and praying in solidarity with those who need time to think and pray.

One of the gifts of the Uniting Church is our commitment to open, honest dialogue, and I pray that during these days, we will keep the communication lines open; take the trouble to hear the heart of one another, and be compassionate towards one another. We are broad and diverse church; yet we are bonded to one another in the way God receives us as his daughters and sons.

Please pray for our life together; I remember one of my Lecturers at theological college saying, there’s really only one person who had a right to split the church, and that was Paul, over justification by faith, not by works, and he didn’t run off. That reflection has stayed with me for 30 years. I also draw on the wisdom of the family I came from; the grace that I witnessed there.  

May the lord bless you and keep you.

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