Church partners have their say – Rev. James Bhagwan

Ni sa bula vinaka, no’ia’ea, malo’ileilei, talofa lava, mauri and g’day in all the other languages of the Pacific that make up one quarter of the world’s languages.

I pay my respects to the taukei ni vanua, the tangata whenua – the people of the land, to the first peoples, traditional people of this land.
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Church partners have their say

Representatives from partner churches attending the 14th Assembly have addressed members on Day Six of the 14th Assembly.

The Presiding Clerk of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu, Pastor Allen Nafuki thanked the Uniting Church and UnitingWorld for their continued support and partnership in the wake of Cyclone Pam.
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Assembly calls for aid boost to 0.7% of GNI

The Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) has encouraged Church members to advocate strongly for increases in Government aid funding.

The 14th UCA Assembly meeting in Perth has also agreed to encourage Church members to increase their own support for development aid through personal and church giving, and through advocacy and encouragement of their friends and community.

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That the Assembly


1. welcome the emerging relationship between the Uniting Church in Australia and the China Christian Council and affirms the importance of this relationship;

2. encourage UnitingCare and UnitingWorld to collaborate in growing this relationship, particularly in mutual learning and support for social services provision and theological education; and

3. encourage UnitingCare and UnitingWorld to use their learning and experience from this relationship to strengthen their own agencies and share them for the benefit of the wider Uniting Church.



a) The opening paragraphs of the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church in Australia calls us to “seek a wider unity in the power of the Holy Spirit” within the ecumenical context, and with particular geographic focus “to seek special relationship with Churches in Asia and the Pacific”. The budding relationship with the China Christian Council (CCC) is an outworking of this call.

b) The CCC is a rapidly growing church who have recognized their need for leadership development both in theological ministry as well as in the provision of social services, as the church steps into the gap to provide care for the an ageing society (Currently China has 200 million people over 60 years old, a figure that will double in the next 20 years). This has influenced the nature of the relationship with the UCA to date, highlighting an area of shared interest and capacity.

c) The relationship between the UCA and the CCC has grown over the last five years through several interactions:

2010:    Initial contact between UCA and CCC

2011:    UCA President Rev Alistair Macrae led the first official visit to China

2012:    CCC President Rev Gao Feng and General Secretary Rev Kan Baoping led the first official visit to the UCA; attending the 13th UCA Assembly and visiting theological colleges and UnitingCare facilities.

2013:    President Rev Prof Andrew Dutney and President Elect Mr Stuart McMillan led a delegation to attend the first joint theological conference between the UCA and the CCC titled ‘One Shepherd, One Flock’.

2014:    UnitingCare hosted a visit from the CCC Social Service Dept who were researching quality aged care services for China. Two CCC theologians participated in the Basis of Union Conference in Sydney on the topic of “Unity of Partnership in Social Service”.

2015:    Following the invitation of the CCC, UnitingCare/UnitingWorld teams made two visits to CCC services, one to research current state of aged care services in China, and another to deliver professional and management skills training to 90 aged care services managers from across China. The training was hugely successful.

d) The interactions between UnitingWorld, UnitingCare and CCC have resulted in a depth and breadth of relationship with stakeholders in China including the CCC national leadership, the Provincial Synod leaders, theological seminaries, aged-care providers and a local Christian-business association.

e) Both UnitingWorld and UnitingCare have recognised the mutual benefit of their Agencies and the wider UCA engaging with the CCC, as UCA’s theology and practice of ministry, mission and social service are re-examined and renewed in the context of sharing and learning with a vibrant and growing church with a richly different history and culture.


Condolences for Niuean Church leader

It is with deep sadness and regret that we advise the Assembly of the death of Rev. Aifolia Poumale last night.

Rev. Poumalu was the President of our partner church Ekalesia Kerisiano Niue (Congregational Christian Church in Niue). He had accepted the invitation to attend the Perth Assembly but advised us a few weeks ago of his inability to attend.

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UnitingWorld lunch – The Church in Times of Growth

Two members of the China Christian Council (CCC), Rev. Kan Baoping and Rev. Dr Chen Yilu, and the UnitingCare National Director, Ms Lin Hatfield Dodds were the panellists at the second UnitingWorld lunch, “The Church in Times of Growth”.

Rev. Dr Zhang introduced the discussion by providing some background about the relationship between the CCC and the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA). The relationship began over 60 years ago, and was re-established in 2010 through the encouragement of Rev. Alistair Macrae, the President of the UCA at the time.

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International guests welcomed

Members of the 14th triennial Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia gave a warm welcome to international guests during the Monday 13 July session of the meeting.

The distinguished church leaders travelled to Perth, Western Australia, from churches in Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and New Zealand.

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