The Church is a living sign of God
The Rev. Myung Hwa Park has been installed as the next Moderator of The Uniting Church in Australia Synod of New South Wales and the ACT and will serve the Church as Moderator until April 2017.
The Rev. Dr Brian Brown greeted the gathered people and handed the reins of Moderator over to Rev. Myung Hwa Park.
“I welcome you all to this joyful occasion and greet you in the name of God,’ said Rev Dr Brown.
At her installation as Moderator on 26 September, Rev. Myung Hwa Park, urged people to pray for each other, to let go of old ways and to embrace change.
“The Church is a living sign of God,” said Rev. Park in her address to the gathered crowd at Turramurra Uniting Church. “You and I are here to witness God’s glory for the whole of creation, we are new beings as brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Rev. Park then went on to explain the challenges that face the church, her vision for sustainability and of the ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor and the part we all play as God’s people in a just society.
“You and I know that God yearns for the restoration of the whole of creation. As a Church we are called together to work for the common good,” she continued. “Churches are made of individuals whose lives have been transformed by Christ.”
The Korean Choir performed two moving items and Prayers of the People were delivered in three languages by the Rev. Oto Favia, Ms Mi Young Park and the Rev. Harry Walker.
As Moderator for the next three years Rev. Park has articulated that her vision for the Church is that, “We will facilitate and play a major role in shifting the concept of Christian witness in the 21st Century across the denominations, not only within our own Church. To do this we need to be prepared to let go of our old ways and habits and embrace changes.”
Rev. Park said, “The Uniting Church in Australia has responded to its vital call to be the national church, as it is situated in a unique place historically and geographically. With a strong sense of justice and peace, the Church has pushed its comfort zone as it has responded to the issues of human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, indigenous land rights, immigration policy of multiculturalism, various social issues such as unemployment and the understanding of sexuality.”
“None of these social justice issues can be separated from our own well-being and our faith. As Moderator I will try to make clear this connection which enables us to link our faith with appropriate actions and response to these issues that affect our community.”
“With openness and faithfulness, The Uniting Church will be called continuously to address and respond to a number of cutting edge issues that Australian society is facing.”
“The strength of the Uniting Church, as an inclusive and pilgrim people, means it can be a flag bearer for the ecumenical cooperation for the future church. With its inclusiveness, The Uniting Church plays a key role to bring churches together to work closely for evangelism and witnessing the presence of God in a 21st Century world.”
The Moderator is elected to give general and pastoral leadership to the Synod, assisting and encouraging expression and fulfilment of faith, and the witness of the Church.
Rev. Park was born in Busan in South Korea and was raised in a Buddhist family. Rev. Park is the fifth woman and the second person from an Asian background to be elected Moderator of the Synod of NSW and the ACT.
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