The Larger Uniting Church…
The Aitkenvale Uniting Church is a part of the larger Uniting Church of Australia. If you want to know what the Uniting Church of Australia is, how our congregation fits into its structure or what significance all of this has for our individual congregation, keep reading.
The Uniting Church of Australia is a relatively new church. It was created in 1977 when three existing churches, the Congregational Union of Australia, the Methodist Church of Australasia and the Presbyterian Church of Australia, united to form one church. This was the result of a belief that Christians in Australia are called to bear witness to a unity of faith and life in Jesus Christ. A thorough document, called the Basis of Union, describes the doctrines and core beliefs of this church. The Uniting Church is now the third largest Christian denomination in Australia, with only the Catholic and Anglican churches being larger.
The Aitkenvale Uniting Church is one of about 2800 congregations from across Australia. It is part of a councilior church each with its own responsibility. One of the councils of the church is the National Assembly, which head office is located in Sydney. This Assembly oversees takes responsibility for matters of doctrine, worship, government and discipline. It also sets national policy and promotes the Church’s mission in the world. Another council of the church are its Synods, which represent the church in each of the states and territories. Each synod has responsibility for the general oversight, direction and administration of the Church’s worship, witness and service. Nested within the synods are the regional councils of the church our presbyteries. The Aitkenvale Uniting Church lies within the Carpentaria Presbytery, which extends from Bowen to Thursday Island, and from the coast to Mount Isa. This presbytery covers an area that is three times the whole state of Victoria! In order to pay better attention the diversity of regional issues within this huge area, it is split up into three zones. Our congregation rests within the southern zone, which is chaired by Rev Christy Allen from Bowen Uniting Church.
The Uniting Church plays a significant role in Australian society through organisations like Frontier Services and UnitingCare, which the Aitkenvale Uniting Church supports both indirectly and directly, when possible.
One of the catch phrases of the Uniting Church is “unity and diversity”. While all congregations embrace the general mission of the church and basic doctrines set forth in the Basis of Union, there is also a great diversity in the way that this is expressed in each congregation. Each congregation of the Uniting Church varies in style, personality and ministry focus. Please contact us to learn more about our congregation.