A video produced by the Assembly’s Formation, Education and Discipleship unit asked Uniting Church youth ministry leaders what they appreciate about the Church. Diversity was a common theme that emerged from the conversation.
Craig Mitchell, National Director of Formation, Education and Discipleship, was surprised that the youth ministry leaders all listed diversity as one of the things they value most about the Church.
“I asked them “what do you appreciate about the Uniting Church” and, unsolicited, they all talked about diversity,” he said.
The video was filmed at an annual national gathering of youth ministry workers in Western Australia.
Grace Leota, who is part of the Victoria and Tasmania NextGen Youth group, was one of the youth ministry workers featured in the video.
“We’re a people that are accepting and every year we just want to improve ourselves and not be the same as we were the year before,” she said in the video.
Jemma Whittaker from the Northern synod believes diversity is one of the great strengths of the Church.
“We are a people who represent the diversity of Australia and the diversity of our faith,” she said.
“We are people who care and who put that care into action.”
The Uniting Church has a proud history of being a diverse and inclusive Church. This diversity comes in many forms: cultural, linguistic and spiritual, to name just a few.
However, embracing diversity is not always easy; a diversity of views can lead to disagreement and conflict.
Age Greenwood, Discipleship Educator for Young Adults, spoke about the challenges of maintaining unity when there is not collective agreement on an issue.
“We’re a people who value being together more than being right,” he said.
“When we’re in a conflict, we’d rather stay in that conflict and be together than lose anyone.”
What do you appreciate about the Uniting Church? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.