Rev Steve Francis, Moderator of the Uniting Church WA, spoke to his report at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Synod of WA, adding that the present day church is full of hope and opportunity.
After recently attending an event at Juniper, a Uniting Church WA agency providing community and residential aged care, he noted that our agencies are growing and doing exceptional work in the name of the church.
This growth, Steve said, is an opportunity for partnerships. He encouraged members of the Synod to look for opportunities to connect.
“We’re seeing this change in the landscape where our agencies have grown and grown and are doing a great job, but our congregational life is slowly declining,” Steve said.
“It reminds us that we live in a time of opportunity where the partnerships could grow between our synod and agencies.”
Steve said that while in recent past decades change in the church has been slow, we are now in a time of rapid change.
“In the 70s 80s etc, the change in the life of the church was very slow,” Steve said. “But now we’re at a tipping point where our change is very rapid. Times are changing faster than they have ever been in the life of our church.”
He said that the Uniting Church would benefit from its members learning how to naturally share the life of their faith and church with the wider community, and to increase the strength of prayer life.
He closed by expressing his admiration of the people of the church.
“Over the past 12 months, I am impressed again and again by the faithfulness of God’s people. And I’m looking at all of you,” he said.
“Your presence here today represents your faithfulness to God and this movement of God that we call the Uniting Church.
“There is hope for the Uniting Church, absolutely. Because God is with us. There is a future for the Uniting Church because we have the holy spirit.
Dr Deidre Palmer, President of the Uniting Church in Australia, responded and thanked Steve for his inspiring leadership, his passion for the gospel, and what he has offered to the church nationally.
“I think your hopeful perspective in a national context sets a tone,” she said.
“We are grateful to God and to you for your service to Christ and our church.”