37. MINUTE OF APPRECIATION FOR REV SEFOROSA CARROLL (Working Group on Relations with other Faiths)

That the Assembly

places on record its appreciation for the contribution rendered to the life of the Uniting Church by Rev Seforosa Carroll during the twelve years she served on the Working Group for Relations with other Faiths and the nine years in which she was the Convener. Sef brought a passionate commitment to the work of interfaith and cross cultural relationships. She grew up as a Fijian Rotuman woman where interfaith engagement and the Methodist Church were both a significant part of her family life. Under Sef’s leadership with the executive, the Working Group strengthened its interfaith engagement in many areas.

Throughout her time as Convenor, the Relations with other Faiths website has become an important resource for those committed to interfaith engagement in congregations, local council government areas, universities and also interfaith networks across Australia organized by state governments. She has represented the Uniting Church on the National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews

It was during her time as Convenor that the Assembly was able to strengthen its theological basis for interfaith dialogue. In 2007 a Theological Colloquium was held with the Working Group on Doctrine which laid the foundation for further exploration. In 2009 at the 13th Assembly the Working Group brought a second statement to the Assembly ‘Friendship in the Presence of Difference: Christian Witness in Multifaith Australia’ that built on the earlier resource ‘Living with a Neighbour who is Different.’

Sef has continued with her theological interests in interfaith and cross cultural relationships and is currently completing her PhD: ‘Making Room for the Religious Other.’ Sef is also a member of ‘Mahine Pasefika’, the Association of Oceanian Women Theologians and has published various articles in the areas of interfaith dialogue and contextual theology. Sef continues to lecture in Interfaith Dialogue and Contextual Theologies at Charles Sturt University in Sydney, where both lay members of the church and candidates for ordination attend her lectures.

At this time Sef has taken up a position with UnitingWorld in the Assembly, managing church partnerships for the Pacific. We are deeply grateful not only for her knowledge, passion and her commitment to the work of interfaith and cross cultural relationships, but also for her many endeavours in interfaith and cross cultural theology that she has brought to the Working Group, and will continue to bring to the life of the Assembly and the Uniting Church.