20. COMMITMENT TO REMOTE AUSTRALIA (Frontier Services)

That the Assembly resolve that

The Uniting Church in Australia commits itself anew to the people of remote Australia.

In the belief that:
Reconciliation will become reality
Hope will replace anxiety and despair
Justice and equity will build community, and
Everyone will have access to the services they need
As we journey together,
we pledge the Church to be an agent of reconciliation and renewal, a sign of the Kingdom and of the transforming power of God’s love.

Rationale:

One hundred years ago, a decision was taken by the Presbyterian Assembly to establish what became known as the Australian Inland Mission. Newly ordained, Rev John Flynn was given responsibility for church activities in 70% of the continent. He had a vision for a “mantle of safety” for remote Australia.

Despite the setbacks of two world wars and a worldwide depression, Flynn’s vision continued to grow, making a reality of ministry and mission ‘for Christ and the Continent”.

At Union, the work of the AIM, together with that of the Federal Methodist Inland Mission and the Home Mission work of the Congregational Union were drawn together using the name that Flynn himself had used – “Frontier Services”.

Thus, the Uniting Church and its predecessors have offered a ministry of presence to the people of remote Australia, unbroken and unstinting, for a hundred years.

As we celebrate in 2012 that gift of continuous ministry, we call on the Uniting Church to commit itself again to the people of remote Australia.