The Uniting Church

I’ve sometimes wondered how the very different theological traditions represented by the Presbyterian, Congregationalist and Methodist churches managed to come together in the Uniting Church. The Pressies are Calvinists and the Methodists are Arminians, for a start. I found this interesting statement of the marriage on the Uniting Church in Perth website, and I think it represents the best vision of how the traditions should come together:

We celebrate the pastoral leadership of elders, the close relationship between minister and members, the focus on worship of almighty God, and the commitment to global mission, which has come to us from our Presbyterian heritage.

We celebrate the emphasis on congregational participation in decision making, the affirmation of the ministry of women, the openness to the community, the generosity of sharing, and the commitment to developing new churches which has come to us from our Congregational heritage.

We celebrate the congregational cultural diversity, the willingness to be doers, taking risks and being innovative,the emphasis on both social justice and evangelism, and the commitment to serve the most needy in our city, which has come to us from the Methodist heritage.


6 thoughts on “The Uniting Church

  1. Hi Nathan,

    Yes, I think that this is a good statement put out by the congregations of the Uniting church in the city of Perth.

    Hi Mat,
    The UCA is also on decline in WA.


    1. Hi Nathan, Matt and John,

      Thanks for the comments. You have quoted from the Uniting Church in the City webpage and for more info re the Uniting Church you can go to
      I would have to disagree re the church decline comment. Two weeks ago one of our city congregations received 13 new members, and the other congregations are also growing. I think there is a turn around from a previous trend. I also know that some suburban congregations are growing.

  2. I wish the UCA was more like that statement in reality!

    I just find it to be a shallow, insular organisation, where belief and leadership structures are being compromised and the power of the mighty $$ is morphing it from a worshipping community into a multi-million dollar company.

    I’ve been a confirmed member of the UCA for 10 years, and attended for 4 years before that, I’ve been a recipient of a UCA wage or study allowance for 6 of the last 9 years.

    There is an unhealthy competition within the UCA for project funding, often the best way to ensure you get the funding is to have representation on as many committees as you can and try to undermine your opponents.

    Then you have the administrative and support services which have grown too big for their own shoes and start asking for unreasonable rates of pay to do the simple internal work they have been set up to do.

    A case of ‘Pay IT department to receive blessings’.

    Not what Revs Browne, Knox, Wesley & Wesley were really envisioning.

    Apologies for bringing the tone down Nathan!

  3. Interesting this post Nathan. We have been going along to the Uniting Church a few times and I think its where we are meant to be. Mainly for the diversity. I might write about this later.

    Pity about money really it is truly a root of evil in many structures…

    (Hey was there more written in this post, it seems to be shorter than I remembered)

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