The Uniting Church is a theologically and socially progressive church. Since its inception in 1977 we have constantly sought to respond and adapt to the theological and social challenges of our time. Sometimes people see the Uniting Church as doctrinally weak but we see our willingness to respond to our times as our strength. This responsiveness arises from a commitment in the Church’s founding document, the Basis of Union. The Basis expresses a commitment to: the inheritance of literary, historical and scientific enquiry which has characterised recent centuries, and [which] gives thanks for the knowledge of God’s ways with humanity which are open to an informed faith. The Uniting Church lives within a world-wide fellowship of Churches in which it will learn to sharpen its understanding of the will and purpose of God by contact with contemporary thought. Within that fellowship the Uniting Church also stands in relation to contemporary societies in ways which will help it to understand its own nature and mission.
LEADERSHIP The Uniting Church affirms the equality of women and men and both lay and ordained people in the life and leadership of the church. The founding churches of the Uniting Church – Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian – were ordaining women long before the formation of the UCA in 1977 and women play key roles right throughout the life of the Church.
SEXUALITY AND THE UNITING CHURCH In 2003, after two decades of conversation, deliberation and debate the Uniting Church Assembly determined that “a person’s sexuality should not be a barrier to ordination.” Hence, we are a church which welcomes, celebrates and affirms the membership and contribution of people of diverse sexuality at all levels of the Church. Coming to this decision was a slow and painful process which did result in some people and congregations leaving the Uniting Church. Coming to this decision was, though, a joyful expression of our commitment to ongoing reform.
FIRST PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA AND THE UNITING CHURCH Since Union in 1977 the Church has sought to develop equitable and honest relationships with the First Peoples of Australia. Since 1994 the Church has shared a covenant with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) and we are committed to the slow and often painful work of reconciliation. In 2009 the Uniting Church Assembly adopted a preamble to its constitution which recognises the pain and suffering caused by white settlement and lays out our commitment to reconciliation, so that all may see a destiny together, praying and working together for a fuller expression of our reconciliation in Jesus Christ. You can read the preamble to the Uniting Church Constitution here
MARRIAGE EQUALITY In 2018 the Uniting Church Assembly determined that ministers of the Uniting Church could conduct marriages of same-gender couples. Each minister, licensed to marry by the Commonwealth of Australia, is able to choose, according to their own conscience, whether they will marry people of the same gender. Each congregation is also at liberty to choose whether same-gender marriages may be conducted on their premises.
The Church Council has determined that same-gender marriages can also be held in the Ormond Church. You can read more about the Uniting Church's decision to Marriage Equality here