Discipleship Thought

Discipleship Thought – 21 June 2020

Happy Birthday to The Uniting Church in Australia!!!

Today my family is celebrating our dog, Chester’s first birthday and yes we have a can of Chum and a massive bone (probably from an ostrich!!) which we have set aside as presents.  We have owned Chester now for 9 months (since Ekka Monday 2019) and we’re pretty happy with the nature of our young Kelpie.  Mind you, it was a big risk for our family to own a dog.  Whilst Trinette’s family owned dogs growing up, my kids and I have never owned a dog. Whilst we did research on dogs and the Australia Kelpie breed, there were many unknowns.  What temperament will Chester have?  Will he growl and bark and scare everyone away (including my kids)?  Will he be overly excited and jump up on everyone…and scare everyone away?  Will he have the right balance of energy and cheeriness that will entice people to approach and pat him?  Coming from a broad muscly toned male Kelpie and a small petite female Kelpie, what will he look like as he grows and matures?

This week we celebrate the of The Uniting Church in Australia which was formed through the union of (in alphabetical order) The Congregational Union of Australia, The Methodist Church of Australasia, and The Presbyterian Church of Australia back on the 22nd June 1977.  In his booklet, “Introducing The Uniting Church in Australia” our past President, Rev Prof Andrew Dutney reminds us that These were significant church in their own right. Because, separately, they had a lot to cherish they also had a lot to lose.  Union was risky. 

Whilst I was too young to understand this union, I’m sure many of you who experienced this union had the same questions mentioned above; what will this new church look like now and into the future?  What will be the nature and temperament of this new church now and into the future?

This Sunday’s service is presented by Rev David Baker (our Uniting Church Queensland Synod, Moderator) who is reflecting on our church denomination.  To prepare for this service, you may wish to consider setting your sacred space at home with a birthday cake, or a picture of the church family you may have, or a picture of our Uniting Church logo.

Whilst my family and I are continually challenged and tested in raising and leading Chester, we are continually blessed and pleased of the growing temperament of our Kelpie.  Many people tell us that dogs are great after two years of age

In the same way, our church denomination might seem ‘wayward at times…like a lost dog’ however let us celebrate and rejoice on how i) our Triune God called the three denominations into unity and ii) our Triune God is continually guiding us (pilgrims on a journey) to be Uniting:  Our ”readiness to go forward together in sole loyalty to Christ the Living Head of the Church and remain open to constant reform under his Word and to seek a wider unity in the power of the Holy Spirit”. (Introducing The Uniting Church in Australia).

P.S. The celebration of The Uniting Church in Australia not only includes our Congregations, Presbyteries and Synods, but also our agencies of UnitingCare, Frontier Services, UnitingWorld, UAICC, plus our multiple educational, charitable and other health institutions.

 Jason Grimsey

Supply Minister