Prayer for direction following Assembly decision on same-gender marriage
Submitted by Andrew Kester on 31 July, 2018
To the Naracoorte Uniting Church 29 July 2018
This is a call to pray for our church in the light of the Assembly’s decision to sanction the marriage of same-gender couples.
Over the last few weeks there have been a series of meetings in Adelaide and locally and around the country of Uniting Church leaders from Uniting Church communities who take a high view of scripture and believe that when we read this we read God’s word to us.
Our present church Network of HopeNet and 3DNet to which we previously belonged recognise that there are basically 3 responses that we can make to this change in the church’s doctrine of marriage.
The First Option is to do nothing. To accept the ruling and get on with Church. We may do this if we believe that the change in doctrine is in accordance with God’s will or even if we don’t believe it is in accordance with God’s will as expressed in his word we may believe we can live with it and work within and alongside a church that affirms same-gender marriage
The Second Option is to leave the Uniting Church – either to leave as individuals, as congregations or as whole Networks. We may believe we should do this if our conscience tells us that it would be wrong to continue to support or associate with a church that we believe no longer follows God’s will in this matter and to continue in this church would involve us in wrongful acquiescence.
The Third Option is to continue in some way as the Uniting Church but to stand aside from this decision – and together with likeminded congregations seek to form separate non-geographic groupings – Congregations, Presbyteries and Networks that would continue to affirm, hold, preach and teach the orthodox belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. We may believe we should do this if we do hold to traditional belief in regard to marriage and if we believe that forming a separate group would distance ourselves from the decision of Assembly sufficiently to allow us to remain within the Uniting Church.
This third option could be done in many different ways. There are many ways in which the separate grouping could be structured. A lot of planning and time is needed to work through this.
What I would like this church to do is to start to seriously pray about the whole matter and the direction we will take as a congregation and as individual members and adherents within our fellowship. And I would ask you to pray for the whole Uniting Church as we deal with this issue. I would ask you to pray for the leaders of our Assembly, Synods, Presbyteries, Networks and congregations that God’s will in this matter is done.
I propose that we do this over the months of August and September and look to share our insights with each other at the end of this time.
Pastor Andrew Everson
Minister, Naracoorte Uniting Church