Not a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Uniting Church in Australia, but rather a note on its passing.
You reckon it a fair achievement
to exist for forty years as church.
You took a stance
on the side of the widows
and the poor;
made it your mission
(so to speak),
(so to speak)
and you sat in solemn assemblies
and issued statements,
and reasoned ”positions”.
But the rich got obscenely richer
and the poor got scandalously poorer,
and nature went to pot,
and words of justice
were swamped in policy
For forty years you said
you were uniting
while unity slipped your grasp.
A bit of incorporation here and there,
when money and property
called the shots;
and an occasional
bit of ecumenism
with care not to mention the war
and differences that once
made our blood run hot.
And, of course, you loved
the inter-faith thing.
What better way to fly the flag
of tolerance when you can’t
make up your mind
except the vaunted virtue
Will you survive for another forty years
in our Australian wilderness?
You will take on new forms
and find new words to
brand decline as triumph
and as ”the will of God”.
There is no lack
amongst your ranks.
What lacks is the will
to walk the walk.
Just in case you feel the need,
here are a few tag lines for
marketing over the next forty years
(some a little soiled from previous use).
Feel free to change them regularly
and refresh them in the light of
new understandings and new learnings.
- Size is not everything.
- Small is beautiful.
- God loves a remnant.
- Your property is our opportunity.
- When all else fails, try church.
- We are a gluten-free church (no rising here).
- Forgive and forget.
- Navel-gazers Inc.
- Followers of the nicest guy that ever was.
- We talk the talk.
- The home of the bloodless Christ.
- Your home between overseas trips.
- Aussie, Aussie round the table!
- Good mates of The State.
- Discerners Inc.
And here are a few tag lines not recommended:
- Jesus Saves!
- Forgiveness for all.
- The prayerful mob.
- Followers of *The* *Way*
- Children of God.
- Love conquers all
- Long live the Jesus revolution!