The word Covenant is not a common expression in today’s language. A covenant is an agreement, a solemn joining together of people in partnership; for example, marriage is a covenant between two people who give themselves to each other. It is not a written contract, but a relationship built on promises that each person makes to each other.
The Scriptures speaks of a ‘covenant relationship’ between God and God’s people to describe the way God wants us to live in relationship with God and with each other. In Baptism we enter into this covenant with God and the Church. Everyone who enters into that agreement or promise is accepted as one of God’s people, a member of God’s family, the Church (Heb 9:15).
Today Stuart McMillan will bring the Word of God to us. Since the completion of his term as President of the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly Stuart has taken on the role of the National Consultant for the Covenanting Assembly Resourcing Unit. Mr McMillan will provide advice, support and leadership about honouring the Church’s Covenant with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) to the Assembly and across the councils of the Uniting Church. “Living out our Covenant between First and Second Peoples is a central part of our expression of our Christian faith in the Uniting Church in Australia, and at the Assembly we are committed to taking that seriously,” said Assembly General Secretary Colleen Geyer in announcing the appointment. “Encouraging Church members to live out the Covenant is also part of our three-year Assembly Strategic Plan.”
At the 15th Assembly in Melbourne in July the Uniting Church acknowledged that Australia’s First Peoples are sovereign peoples. President of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Rev. Garry Dronfield said the Uniting Church’s ongoing commitment to covenanting and the sovereignty discussion are timely.
“I think it’s important to continue our conversations around how the Church and UAICC work together to build on our relationship with each other,” said Rev. Dronfield.
As part of the new role, Mr McMillan will develop an Assembly Covenanting Action Plan based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and act as the Advocate in the Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle. https://assembly.uca.org.au/news/item/2856-assembly-consultant-covenanting
May God continue to guide us to be a covenanting people.