A call to renew our Church
In her opening speech the Moderator Rev. Myung Hwa Park prays for a return to who we are first of all and what we are as The Uniting Church in Australia as envisaged almost four decades ago at Union. That we be transformed by the will of the Spirit as we pray come Holy Spirit renew our hearts, come Holy Spirit renew our Church.
With a call for the Holy Spirit to come and renew our hearts, Synod began with Diane Torrens (UAICC NSW/ACT Regional Council Chairperson) and the Moderator, Rev. Myung Hwa Park acknowledging the country on which we stand.
“Before we begin, we would like to acknowledge and pay our respect to the traditional owners of the land on which we meet. Our loving and wise Creator in His goodness gave this estate to the Gurung-gai people of the Eora Nation. It is upon their land that we meet today,” stated Diane.
“As we share our own prayers, stories and songs and learn to live and work together on their traditional lands, may we also pay our deepest respect to our elders, those past and those present with us today. Let us also acknowledge the deep wisdom, knowledge and spirituality that is embedded forever within the Aboriginal custodianship of this Country.”
Worship leader Rev. Bec Lindsay and the Moderator prayed and began the mosaic that will take shape over the four days of Synod.
In prayers of confession, Bec prayed: “We are called to vibrant and relevant discipleship; we are called to proclaim our faith in fresh words and deeds; we are called to live out the covenant between the Uniting Church and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Congress; we are called to be a multicultural Church; we are called to advocate for justice; we are called to confess our sin; we confess our brokenness, our fragility, the places and people and the relationships that we have smashed. We pray that through the gift of the Spirit God would constantly correct that which is flawed in the life of the Church. Holy Spirit of God renew our lives, renew your church, renew our communities and the whole beloved world.”
The Moderator then punctuated this prayer by smashing tiles as a visual representation of the our sins, broken to reform a mosaic that will be presented at the close of Synod.
“Hear this good news, my sisters, my brothers, my friends, my Church. In Christ your sins are forgiven. Amen,” prayed Rev. Bec Lindsay.
The Moderator then spoke about her first 18 months as Moderator and how she has travelled to the country and been to many events.
“You and I are in the same mould and are called to take the Uniting Church on this boat we are on the journey to the promised land on a pilgrimage …. Is my commitment any more serious than yours? With humility I have opened myself to the call of God to the people of God, ” said Rev. Park in her opening message.
“I want to share the words that are revealed to us in Christ Jesus. I have seen God’s face and hands and feet as I have met many Godly people in our church, musicians, brilliant preachers, tireless volunteers, gentle teachers, beautiful children. We have every possible saint in this institution. But the truth is we are often unaware because we tend to see our cup half empty rather than half full. I have also witnessed the struggles our churches have gone through.”
The Moderator spoke her invitation to all ministers to participate in UTalk and moments of enlightenment which has helped them in our ministry. Our church is blessed by their commitment to ministry and the Church of our life. Many have struggled with the Institutional Church and to many respects we have moved away from the Holy Spirit the movement.
“Trusting God that His spirit can renew us to live out the resurrection life… and a healing in the 21st century,” continued Rev. Park.
“I invite you to begin by praying that we might return to who we are first of all and what we are a Uniting Church in Australia as envisaged almost 4 decades ago. That we be transformed by the will of the Spirit. We pray, “come Holy Spirit renew our hearts come Holy Spirit renew our Church”.
“Teach us to live in harmony with the earth and to renew the earth. Take us into a new life with God’s creation.”
“We gather as a pilgrim people on the journey to the Promised Land. We pray Come Holy Spirit to renew our hearts renew our church.”
The Moderator then offered communion to the gathered members with Diane Torrens the UAICC NSW/ACT Regional Council Chairperson.
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