A discussion paper on marriage and same-gender relationships has been prepared by the Doctrine Working Group (DWG) and is now available for comment. The paper comes in response to a request from the 13th Assembly for a discussion paper on the theology of marriage within the Uniting Church. It was also asked to explore implications for public covenants for same-gender relationships.
Informing the discussion paper was a series of preliminary consultations with identified groups and networks within the church and with some presbyteries.
The responses have been summarised in a consultation report prepared by Rev Dr Rob Bos, entitled Views of marriage in the UCA.
In his report Dr Bos concluded: “Clearly, there is no agreed theology of marriage in the Uniting Church. The responses to the consultation process reported a wide range of views. At the same time, many demonstrated openness to change and are reviewing their position.”
The DWG is seeking responses by 10 October, 2014.
They will be collated and provided to the Assembly Standing Committee at its November meeting with a view to bringing a report to the 14th Assembly, in Perth, next year.
Assembly General Secretary Terence Corkin said it was hoped the Church’s engagement with these important issues would not only help its own thinking and decision-making but also contribute to the conversation in the wider community.
“We are all aware of the broad range of views on these matters within the Church and the wider community and we need no reminding to enter these discussions with respect and sensitivity,” Mr Corkin said.
The marriage paper, a report on views of marriage in the UCA, the covering letter from the General Secretary sent to stakeholders and the response form are all available on the Assembly website: assembly.uca.org.au/marriage