Uniting Church in Australia - Assembly Standing Committee
16 November 2003


Standing Committee resolved:

  1. to receive the resolutions of the Synods of New South Wales, Queensland. South Australia and the Northern Synod on Assembly resolution 03.12 04 as varied by the Assembly Standing Committee;

  2. to receive the reports on responses from Synods, the Congress, the General Secretary and the President;

  3. in response to requests from councils of the Church, to establish a process to clarify the doctrine of the Church regarding people in committed same-gender relationships being in leadership roles, including ordained ministries, with a view to decision-making at the 11th Assembly:

    (a) Step 1 - responding to the requests of synods and presbyteries
    refer Assembly minute 03.12.04 as varied by ASC minute 03.69 (proposal 84) to
    congregations and presbyteries for their responses by 30 April 2004;

    (b) Step 2 - wrestling with the issues
    a period of Biblical and theological study throughout the Church, from June 2004 to
    June 2005, whereby members and councils, guided by the Basis of Union especially
    Paragraphs 5 and 11, seek further to discern God's will in this matter;

    (c) Step 3 - towards decision-making
    prepare a full report on steps 1 and 2 by September 2005. in order to resource
    synods and presbyteries as they prepare for the 11th Assembly;

  4. to request the Assembly officers (Dean Drayton, James Haire. Gregor Henderson, Terence Corkin), in consultation with Synod Moderators, to approve the documentation for step 1 of the process;

  5. to appoint a working group to bring recommendations to the next meeting of Standing Committee on the processes and resources needed for step 2 of the process;

  6. to request the working group to initiate conversations with representatives from migrant-ethnic congregations, the Congress, the Reforming Alliance and Uniting Network concerning the process of discernment;

  7. to appoint Sue Gormann (convener). Rob Bos, lan Breward, Bev Fabb, James Haire, Jione Havea, Graham Humphris. Sarah Mitchell and Isabel Thomas Dobson as the members of the working group (subject to their agreement);

  8. to request councils of the Church to consider carefully the implications of their decisions on others in the life of the Church when they make decisions on these matters leading UD to the 11th Assembly.

Terence Corkin
Assembly General Secretary