The Uniting Church in Australia
The Uniting Church in Australia was formed on June 22, 1977 when many congregations of the Methodist Church of Australasia, Presbyterian Church of Australia, and Congregational Union of Australia came together under the Basis of Union. The third largest Christian denomination in Australia, the Uniting Church has around 243,000 members in 2,500 congregations. According to the Australian Census in 2006 there are 1,135,427 people identifying some sort of association with the Uniting Church.
An Australian Church
Educating for Life:
Partnering in Mission:
Working together for the Common Good
The Church is made up of a series of inter-related councils — local churches, regional presbyteries, state synods, and the National Assembly. Each council has its distinct tasks, and each council recognises the limits of its responsibilities in relation to other councils. We don’t believe in working in silos. Instead, each council works together for the Common Good.
The Presbytery is the regional council of the Uniting Church in Australia. Each presbytery is responsible for overseeing the Church’s life and work in their region. This includes:
- settling ministers
- establishing, amalgamating and disbanding congregations
- developing mission strategy
- supporting congregational life.
Ministers of the Word and Deacons are responsible to the presbytery and have a duty of care to ensure their work is carried out faithfully. Presbytery meetings include ordained ministers, lay pastors and elected lay persons from every congregation.
The Presbytery elects a Chairperson who is the authorised spokesperson for the Presbytery.
Queanbeyan Uniting Church is a part of the Canberra Region Presbytery.
The Synod is the state council of the Uniting Church. The word ‘synod’ also describes the regular meeting of representatives of the state-wide Uniting Church.
The Synod is responsible for supporting and resourcing the Church in its geographical area. This covers:
- community services
- mission planning
- theological and other education services
- administration relating to ministers, property and financial services.
The elected head of each Synod is the Moderator, and a General Secretary is usually appointed as the chief executive officer.
Queanbeyan Uniting is part of the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, whose head office is located in Pitt Street, Sydney.
The Assembly is the national council of the Uniting Church. It is headed by the President of the Uniting Church, with a General Secretary as chief executive officer.
The role of the Assembly is to determine matters of doctrine, worship, government and discipline. This involves:
- promoting the Church’s mission
- establishing standards of theological training
- receiving ministers from other communions
- being proactive towards the wider union of the Church.
While the Assembly does make guiding decisions about the tasks and authority of other councils, it must seek agreement of the councils, and on occasion of the congregations of the Church, on matters of vital importance to the life of the Church.
The Assembly’s central offices are located in Pitt Street, Sydney.