Our Mission is to Connect with people in Jesus; Build each other up in faith; and to Become Like Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:1-14, What shapes your faith? The epistle reading today from 2 Timothy is probably the last letter ‘written’ by Paul. It assumes that Paul writes from prison, probably toward the end of his life, to encourage Timothy as one who will carry on his work. This letter is much more personal in tone and content than other Pastoral Epistles. This passage could be interpreted just as a message of encouragement for church leaders, but it is made very clear that mission is part of the calling of every Christian to be faithful as disciples of Jesus Christ.
First of all, Paul reminds Timothy of his great heritage, his grandmother Lois as well as mother Eunice who had been a person of great faith, but he also made the point that it was the saving grace of Jesus that ultimately shaped his faith(vs. 9). Second, in this letter Paul reminds Timothy of how precious the gift of a calling from God is. It is a spirit of love and self-discipline, empowering us to do God’s mission, not relying on our own achievements and ability but upon the strength and energy that God will supply (vs. 8 & 9). And third Paul reminds Timothy of being confident and trusted in God. For Paul faith is not intellectual thing up in the head, not just ritual but more real because he has been through much in his life – beatings, shipwrecks, imprisonment etc. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). What Paul experienced at each step he took was that Christ has been with him; he has encountered Christ in that experience. He therefore encouraged others to join with him and not be afraid to express their faith.
Do you totally trust God? There is a difference between believing in God and trusting God.
As we leave the church today, we may know that whatever the future holds for us, God goes with us through His spirit of love, power and discipline. And with that we can take on the world, Amen. IL-WOONG.
From the Assembly, The Uniting Church in Australia
Marriage, Thursday 17 August 2017
The Uniting Church has for some time been conducting its own independent discernment on marriage.
We acknowledge that there is a diversity of opinion in our Uniting Church community on the issue of same-gender marriage.
We have always tried to maintain a respectful conversation on this subject between the councils of our Church and to work constructively across our membership.
In our current conversations on marriage the Uniting Church is seeking to hold a ‘space for grace’ – engaging in respectful conversations with one another, guided by the Spirit, sharing our stories and understanding of marriage and same-gender relationships in culturally appropriate ways.
Our commitment to our own process of prayerful discernment means that Uniting Church leaders will not be recommending any position to members in relation to the 2017 postal plebiscite, should one take place.
The Uniting Church in Australia currently understands marriage as ‘the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of a man and a woman to live together for life’.
We are also committed to being an inclusive Church that embraces LGBTIQ people as full members and to culturally appropriate discussion about relationships and marriage across our diversity.
We will consider carefully the implications of any future changes to the Marriage Act.
Regardless of any legislation change, we will continue our own process of discernment in relation to same-gender marriage in a way that reflects the Uniting Church’s commitment to uphold Christian values and principles.
These values and principles include the unique worth of every human being, religious liberty and personal dignity, and a concern for the welfare of the whole creation.
A report on marriage is being prepared to go to the Fifteenth Assembly in 2018.
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Stealing From A Child – The Injustice of ‘Marriage Equality’. By David van Gend. ‘Australians are being asked to accept a breathtakingly subversive redefinition of marriage, parenting, family and gender, with consequences for core liberties and our children’s education; yet when we raise concerns were are called ‘bigots’. We are branded as ‘haters’ for defending a child’s birthright to her own biological mother and father. We are insulted as ‘homophobes’ for defending our children from the genderless ‘Safe Schools’ programme. In response, this book respectfully demolishes the edifice of error, injustice, and moral coercion that is built around ‘marriage equality’. It lays bare the subversive ‘genderless agenda’ that comes with genderless ‘marriage’. It is a manifesto in defence of society’s inviolable foundation: Father, Mother, Child.’
The Tyranny of Tolerance by Peter Kurti. It was a confident expectation for more than a century that religion – its beliefs, doctrines and institutions – would atrophy in the face of growing secularisation. But not only has traditional Christianity survived in liberal western societies; other faith, most conspicuously Islam, have increasingly become a perceptible presence. This evolution gives rise to many questions about the place of religion in liberal democratic society. These questions include the increasing difficulty in giving public expression to moral positions informed by faith; the interaction of faith-inspired practices and the rule of law; and implications of the shift from ‘soft’ to ‘hard’ multiculturalism, marked by a fear that – unless carefully managed – diversity would cause intolerance and prejudice to flourish.