The Uniting Church Vision for a Just Australia

An election resource for Uniting Church members and congregations

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.  (Philippians2:3-4)

Why is this resource being offered?

Soon millions of Australians will cast their vote in the next Federal election. While it doesn’t always feel like it, this is a privilege not every person in the world enjoys.

At its broadest politics is about how we live together in community. For Christians how we vote is part of our discipleship. It’s an expression of our love of God, our neighbour and our care for all creation.

That is why the Uniting Church has developed an election resource for church members and congregations. It’s called Our Vision for a Just Australia and it encourages us to think deeply, as individuals and in conversation with others, about the issues we care about this election.

During the election period many promises will be made. We will be urged to think about “what’s in it for me?” That’s important, but it cannot be the whole story. The Uniting Church believes we are called to share in God’s mission of bringing reconciliation and renewal for the whole world. That begins with our actions and choices here and now. Our Vision for a Just Australia invites us to look beyond our own immediate needs to those of our nation and our world.  

The resource does not tell us how to vote. It does highlight seven foundational areas where action is needed in order for us to become a fairer and more compassionate nation, concerned with the flourishing of all people and the whole earth.

You can download the resource here.

Watch the Moderator's video here.

How can this resource be used?

Like all resources this one will only provide a benefit if it is used.

Here are some ways you can do that:

Read the document and talk about the issues: You might want to pick just one of the foundational areas and discuss it in a bible study or small group. You could include interested people from other churches or the wider community. Each area highlights relevant biblical material, key facts and a list of questions to consider. A suggested process can be found on the next page.

Ask questions of your candidates:  You could do this by contacting your local Federal MP or other candidates in your electorate and asking them some of the questions provided in the resource.

To check who your local candidates are go to the Australian Electoral Commission and look under the candidate information tab in the centre of the main page.

You could also take part in an election forum if there is one in your area. Some congregations may be able to organise their own forum, perhaps in cooperation with other church’s or groups.

The Uniting Advocacy team can offer advice on how to do this.

Please contact Jon O’Brien on joobrien@uniting.org or 9407 3225, or Alex Hogan on ahogan@uniting.org ior 9407 3230

Include these concerns in your worship and your prayers:  You could include one of the foundation areas as a theme for a service leading up to the election. Use the biblical passages and other quotes provided. You could turn the background information into prayers of the people. You could also pray for all the candidates and the new parliament that emerges after the election.

A suggested process for group discussion

Step 1: Choose one foundations area to focus on and print of copies of that section.

Step 2: Ask people to read the material through beforehand or allow time for this in the group.

Step 3: As a group consider these questions:

  1. What resonated with you in the Vision statement or Our Hopes section?
  2. What stood out to you from the Witness from the Bible or What the UCA has said? What challenged you?
  3. What insights came out of the State of the Nation for you? Was there anything that surprised you or you questioned?
  4. Which of the key actions do you most support? Why? Are there any you disagree with?
  5. How do you respond to the questions posed under Discussion Starters?
    a) Which ones most apply to you as an individual or the life of your congregation? What actions are within your reach to improve the situation?
    b) What question would you most like answered by those standing for election?
    c) What responsibility does the next government have in addressing this issue and responding to these questions? What’s the most important thing they can do?

Prepared by the Uniting advocacy team for the Synod of NSW and the ACT. May 2019.