Let our Christian witness begin with prayer

Let our Christian witness begin with prayer

As I write this article for Insight’s October edition, I am still overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude to God and the people of the Synod of NSW and the ACT for electing me to the position of Moderator. Despite my weaknesses and shortcomings, I have faith that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.

The ingenious design of God has created flowers for the bees, trees for the birds, the rain to come down from heaven to water the earth so that it could bring forth grains for the farmers and bread for the hungry. I believe that we are here to witness God’s faithfulness to the whole of creation. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, as part of the work of God’s hands, we too are living signs bearing witness to the faithfulness of God.

Saint John said that Christ was the embodiment of the saving grace of God in his totality: his life, ministry, death and resurrection. And in Him, God reached out to a lost, alienated world, bringing the whole creation into a renewed relationship with God.

For the last two millennia Christians have been called to bear witness to this Gospel of reconciliation of God. And now, in the twenty-first century our witness needs to be courageous and decisive as the light dispels the darkness and the salt that adds taste and zest to life.

We, as the Church, have been transformed by the grace of God. But this transformation is not for our benefit alone.

We, as the Church, have been transformed by the grace of God. But this transformation is not for our benefit alone.

We as a national Church have been uniquely called in this ancient land, with its “golden soil and wealth for toil; girt by sea; and abounding in nature’s gifts”, to work together with the First People.

And as a Church in the twenty-first century, we face serious responsibilities not only for our own backyard, but also for the entire world as we become increasingly aware of the interconnectedness of our lives and our world around us.

We live in challenging times with changes that seem to threaten the traditional Church, but these same changes also offer us an opportunity to see a new way of being Christians.

We are not here to keep the checks and balances of the institutional Church in place. We are called to be the living sign of God’s presence in the created world; a dwelling place of God, an alternative community of God whose primary goal is to connect people’s spirit with God’s spirit.

Twenty-five years ago my mother said to me, then an inexperienced woman entering into the ministry of Christ, “Now you begin a life-long obligation to pray for others!” I must confess that I have not always lived the prayerful life my mother had in mind for me.

But it is never too late to try to improve!

May I invite you, as your Moderator, to join me in my resolution to pray for each other, for our Churches, Presbyteries, Synod staff, the Uniting Church schools and UnitingCare staff as symbols of our witness to the faithfulness of God.

Rev. Myung Hwa Park, Moderator

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