Rev Dr Gordon Moyes The Superintendent Writes
A weekly column by Rev Dr Gordon Moyes, Superintendent of Wesley Mission.
February 17th, 2002

I love our denomination, The Uniting Church in Australia. I will spend the rest of my life within the Uniting Church in Australia. I have no intention of leaving, but I am not content to leave it as it is! I am working to improve it, to be a true church of Jesus Christ, obedient to His will and word. I am committed to remain within the Uniting Church and change it. That is why I stood for election as Chair of our Sydney Presbytery, and was inducted into office this week. This is a great time to renew our church!

There is much that is good in our church, especially the ordinary church members in the pews. I frequently praise the Uniting Church for its strengths and accomplishments. Having spoken in more than 400 churches across every state in Australia, I know the quality of its lay people.

We are a democratic denomination giving many people a voice in church government through an incredible series of councils, assemblies, synods, conferences, committees, reference groups, boards and so on. There is a spirit of mateship abroad. We may not have a Captain on board, but we are a crew of first mates. There is a strong community focus with service ministries to every kind of human need involving an army of staff and volunteers.

Our churches are mostly contemporary in their concerns and sometimes in their worship. They are Australian in culture and viewpoint. I believe it is a great time to renew our church. The Uniting Church members put their faith in Christ not in the structures of a denomination with all of its regulations and bureaucracy. Professor Herbert Butterfield said: "Hold onto Christ and for the rest be totally uncommitted." At the heart is our commitment to Christ as the incarnate Son of God, Saviour from sin, risen, reigning and soon returning Lord.

We evangelicals have that commitment to Christ, so we can weather aberration within or attack from without. Denominational structures are very human institutions, full of man-made regulations and less than Christian politics. But with Christ in our hearts, no human activity can discourage us. Our faith is not in the structures of men but in the Lord of glory! The temple of God is holy, but that doesn't mean it is perfect. With Christ in our hearts, we can live in an imperfect structure.