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Uniting Church jargon

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Uniting Church jargon 2018-03-05T15:06:09+00:00

Jargon glossary

Adherent means a person who is not a member or a member-in-association of a church but is recognised as sharing in the life of a congregation and is within the pastoral responsibility of the church.
The Assembly is the national council of the Uniting Church in Australia and has responsibilities in matters of doctrine, worship, government and discipline. It is headed by the president with a general secretary as chief executive officer.
The Basis of Union is the foundational document created by the three denominations which came together in 1977 to form the Uniting Church in Australia. It states the central affirmations of the Christian faith and is a guide to what is central in the life of the Uniting Church.
The Uniting Church uses the Biblical term “baptism” rather than “christening” (which denotes a naming ceremony). Baptism is a sacrament which is open to all ages and takes place within a congregational context. Once baptised, a person cannot be re-baptised.
The church council is the body established in each congregation to have oversight of its life and mission.
A confirmed member is a church member who is recognised as having affirmed the faith and has the rights and responsibilities of participating in the work and government of the church.
A congregation is a group of people (members and adherents) who worship, witness and serve God, and are recognised as a congregation by the presbytery.
Congress denotes the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC).
The Uniting Church in Australia seeks to make decisions in councils using consensus procedures wherever possible. Consensus is a process by which a common mind of a meeting is sought about the wisest way forward on a particular issue.
The covenantal relationship is the relationship between the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) and the Assembly in which both groups commit themselves to developing more just, inclusive and equal relationships in the church.
A deacon is a person recognised by the church and set apart by ordination. They exercise ministry through their daily life and work in the world.

A life of discipleship means to live as an active part of God’s mission in the world. Growing committed and engaged followers of Jesus Christ is one of the primary aims of the Uniting Church.

Ecumenism is working with other Christian denominations to witness to a common faith in God and act together in matters of common interest.
An Elder is a person elected by a congregation to exercise spiritual oversight of members and adherents.
A faith community is a gathering of Christians who identify as a unique worshipping community which has not been recognised by Synod as a congregation and is therefore not subject to the regulations covering congregations.
Formation is the period during which a candidate for a specified ministry explores their vocation through a series of structured experiences, study and mentoring.
The general secretary is the chief executive officer of the Synod.

A lay preacher is an accredited church member who is authorised to conduct worship services in their own congregation and at the invitation of any other congregation. They must be endorsed by their church council and accredited by the presbytery.

A church member is a baptised person who is recognised by the church council as being within the pastoral responsibility of the church.
A member-in-association is a person who participates in the life of a congregation while maintaining membership in another denomination.
Minister means a Minister of the Word, deacon or deaconess. A Minister of the Word is set apart by ordination to supervise and empower the general ministry of the church at the congregational and community level.
The mission of the church is an expression of our corporate response to Christ’s command to make disciples and to live as communities of love and reconciliation.
The moderator is the elected head of Synod.
Multi-faith initiatives bring together different faith communities. Such relationships are based on mutual respect, acknowledging our diverse spirituality and common humanity.

Pastor is a specified lay ministry of the church. It replaces the ministries of community minister, lay pastor and youth worker.

A presbytery is a council which has oversight of congregations, ministry and programs within a region. People in specified ministry (ministers, deacons etc.) are responsible to the presbytery. There are eight presbyteries in Queensland.

Five Priority Directions were identified by the 28th Synod as part of the Together on the way, enriching community journey. These directions inform the way in which Synod allocates resources and plans for mission. The 32nd Synod revised the directions for 2016–2020. For more information visit the Priority Directions/2020 vision section of our website.

A synod is the state council of the Uniting Church. The six synods of the Uniting Church support and resource the church in community services, mission planning, theological and other educational services, administration of ministers and property, and finance.
The Synod office in Auchenflower, Brisbane is the administrative hub for the Queensland Synod.
Synod in Session is when the whole of Synod meets, usually every 18 months.
Synod Standing Committee is a group of elected members who have decision-making responsibility for the Uniting Church in Queensland between meetings of the synod.

Together on the way, enriching community is the mission strategy adopted by the Queensland Synod. It articulates the call and vision of the Synod and is expressed through the Priority Directions. For more information visit the Priority Directions/2020 vision section of our website.

Uniting Green is a Synod initiative which helps individuals, congregations and agencies of the church to live sustainably and care for creation as an integral part of living out Christian faith.
UnitingCare Australia is the national body for the UnitingCare network, one of the largest providers of community services in Australia.
UnitingCare Queensland provides health and community services through its service groups: UnitingCare Community, UnitingCare Health, Blue Care and ARRCS (Australian Regional and Remote Community Services).

UnitingWorld is an agency of the Assembly. It connects people and church communities in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa to partner in God’s mission through overcoming poverty and enabling discipleship and faith-filled action.

UnitingJustice is the justice unit of the Assembly, pursuing national matters of social and economic justice, human rights, peace and the environment.
Wesley Mission Queensland has been providing community services to people in the south east corner for over 100 years.
Yurora is the National Christian Youth Convention which brings together Christians from different cultures across Australia.

Acronym glossary

Assembly Standing Committee

Audit and Risk Committee

Board for Christian Formation

Budget Development Oversight Committee

Child Safe Church

Safe Ministry with Children

Safe Ministry with Children

Synod office executive leadership team

Synod office executive management team

Finance and Property Services

Formation, Education and Discipleship

Finance, Investment and Property Board

Legal Reference Committee

Multi-Cross Cultural Reference Group

Minister of the Word

Period of Discernment

Public Benevolent Fund

Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association

Presbytery Synod Interface

Queensland Synod Royal Commission Task Group

Remuneration and Nomination Committee

Synod Chaplaincy Commission

Synod Ecumenical Relationships Committee

Synod Inter-Faith Relationships Committee

Synod Sexual Misconduct Committee

Synod Planning Group

Schools and Residential Colleges Commission

Synod Standing Committee

Together on the way, enriching community (our vision process)

Uniting Church in Australia

The Uniting Church in Australia, Property Trust (Q)

UnitingCare Community
UnitingCare Community
Uniting Church Centre
UnitingCare Health
UnitingCare Queensland
Queensland Churches Together
UnitingJustice
Wesley Mission Queensland

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