63. REMOTE AREA MINISTRY (Standing Committee)

That the Assembly

1. receive the report;
2. affirm with thanksgiving that the Uniting Church’s commitment to the people of remote Australia is expressed across the whole life of the church; its diverse congregations, councils and agencies;

3. affirm that remote area ministry is a response to the love of God. It is a response expressed in covenant with the First Peoples, and shaped by contexts of geographical isolation. It is ministry with people and within communities that builds and supports connections that contribute to wellbeing and quality of life;

4. affirm the principles developed by the national consultation on remote area ministry:
(a) God is already present and engaged in mission in remote Australia and among the people who live there, both First and Second Peoples, whether or not the church is delivering ministry and services.
(b) In seeking to discern how the UCA might participate in what God is doing in remote areas, priority must be given to our covenantal relationship with the First Peoples through the UAICC and commitment to partnership between First and Second Peoples.
(c) The church must commit to an approach to remote area ministry that is based on consultation and engagement with local communities and contextualised by place, need and local capacity.
(d) The church’s ministry and services must be oriented towards building capacity and resilience in local communities.
(e) The UCA is committed to a whole-of-church response to remote area ministry.
(f) Partnerships should be developed between the relevant councils and/or agencies of the church wherever possible in order to be good stewards of the church’s resources so that remote area ministry develops in sustainable ways.
(g) A national mechanism should be established to enable all the councils and agencies of the church that are involved in remote area ministry to communicate and collaborate in the development and delivery of appropriate, effective, sustainable remote area ministry; and

5. (a) authorise the establishment of a national mechanism to enable each synod, each presbytery involved in remote area ministry, the UAICC, UnitingCare Australia, and Frontier Services to communicate and collaborate in the development and delivery of appropriate, effective, sustainable remote area ministry; and
(b) request the ASC to establish the appropriate mechanism.