This is at the heart of the national project called Act2, led by the National Assembly of the Uniting Church, to look again at the shape of our life as a Church and ask deep questions about whether it is the right one for the future as we faithfully seek to follow Christ.

Why is prayer at the heart of this project? It arises from our conviction that prayer matters. It makes a difference in our lives and in our life as a community. When we meet to make decisions about our life, the book we use to guide those decisions (called the Manual for Meetings) invites us to spend significant time in worship, prayer and community building. In a sense, our time meeting together is a continuation of our time in prayer. This is not to say we cannot disagree or debate ideas, but we do it in a serious effort to seek to find what we believe God is calling us to.

But prayer is not always easy or comfortable. It is often challenging and unsettling. Every day through Uniting in Prayer we have been drawing prayers from across the Uniting Church and the tradition of the universal church. On the last day, we will be praying the Covenant Prayer which we trace through the Methodist tradition to John Wesley. The prayer begins, “I am no longer my own, but yours.” It goes on to say, “I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal” and concludes, “you are mine and I am yours.” It is an expression of our total reliance on God.

Our own book for worship, Uniting in Worship II, highlights that this prayer cannot be prayed lightly.

As our time of intentional prayer comes to an end we are moving into a period of collective discernment about the shape of our life.

Throughout the first half of 2023 we have explored our life as a Church, diverse contexts, what is important to us and the ideas we have for where God may be leading. The Act2 team has been in contact with over 1700 local Uniting Church communities and every presbytery in the country. In person, we have met leaders in every Synod, and through 2023 we will attend Synod meetings.

In the second half of the year our councils will discern deeply about options and directions for our life together, before a report and recommendations are prepared for the 17th Triennial Assembly of the Uniting Church in July 2024.
As we explore and imagine what our life could be like, we are fuelled by the vision to which scripture, our Basis of Union, and the Act2 Project is calling us. A calling to life-giving communities of faith that make and grow disciples in a life of worship, witness, and service. To a voice from the margins a world crying out for justice. To order and deploy resources based on need, responsibility and opportunity, not legacy or power. A calling to a theological culture where all can grow deep in the faith and ministry to which they were baptised.
Across this whole process, in every conversation, we are laying open our lives and the life of our Church: not ours, but God’s. May the Spirit accompany us all as we seek to discern and respond to God’s call for the next moment of our life as the Uniting Church.

God of hope
May we be attentive to the call of the Spirit as we consider afresh our life together.
May we be courageous to your invitation to embrace the vision to which you call us.
May we be not afraid of the future and instead rejoice in your inbreaking into our world.
May we renew our commitment to your precarious pilgrimage of love.

You can sign up to be part of Uniting in Prayer and use the provided worship and prayer resources in your community at any time:

More about the Act2 Project:

Article by Andrew Johnson, Act2 Project Lead

This article first featured in the June 2023 edition of Revive Magazine.

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