71. THEOLOGY OF MARRIAGE DISCUSSION (Facilitation Group)

Please note that proposals below are not necessarily in their final agreed form. Formal minutes of the 14th Assembly will be published as soon as practicable. 

Further coverage on the marriage discussion: http://assembly2015.uca.org.au/culturally-appropriate-marriage-discussion-to-continue/

It was resolved to:

1. receive the report on ‘The theology of marriage and same gender relationships within the Uniting Church’;

2. request the Standing Committee, in consultation with the UAICC and Multicultural and Cross-cultural Ministry, to explore how the Uniting Church can engage in further discussions about marriage and same-gender relationships in culturally appropriate ways; and

3. request the Standing Committee address immediately, through appropriate mechanisms, the following work:

(a) to engage with the continuing work of the Doctrine Working Group as outlined in its report to the 14th Assembly;

(b) to engage with the members of the LGBTIQ community and the wider Church in discussions about marriage and same-gender relationships;

(c) in consultation with the relevant Assembly working groups, to prepare a report to the Fifteenth Assembly with appropriate recommendations, as well as supporting theological, liturgical, pastoral and educational resources; and

(d) in consultation with our ecumenical partners, where appropriate, to investigate the implications of changing the Church’s current relationship with the Commonwealth Government with respect to the conduct of marriages.

4. request the President to issue a pastoral letter to the Church affirming that the UCA seeks to be an inclusive Church that embraces LGBTIQ people as full members of our church community and is committed to active and culturally appropriate discussion about marriage; and

5. request the General Secretary, in the event that the Commonwealth Marriage Act or other relevant legislation, is changed, to write to all Uniting Church marriage celebrants, advising them of their freedoms and constraints under that legislation and as celebrants authorised by the Uniting Church.