The Uniting Church in Australia is a union of three churches, which have been represented in Australia since early days of colonial settlement. After some 23 years of discussion and negotiation, the Congregational Union of Australia, the Methodist Church of Australasia and the Presbyterian Church of Australia agreed to come together on a Basis of Union.
Some Congregational and Presbyterian congregations decided not to enter this union, but to continue as before, whereas all Methodist churches, working under a national constitution, were bound by the decision of their General Conference. The inauguration date, 22 June 1977, was an outward expression of a unity of belief, mission and purpose, which had been growing for many years among the three churches.
The Uniting Church’s Basis of Union affirms the beliefs taught in the church from earliest days. ‘Every member of the church is engaged to confess the faith of Christ crucified and to be his faithful servant’. The Uniting Church accepts the books of the Old and New Testaments as unique testimony ‘in which she hears the Word of God and by which her faith and obedience are nourished.’ In the interpretation of Scripture, the Uniting Church accepts the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. The confessions and preaching of the Reformation and the eighteenth-century evangelical revival also have an important part in the church’s tradition.
The Uniting Church thus stands with the church through the ages and with churches of the Reformation in its essential belief and teaching. It worships one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It sees the church as the fellowship of the Holy Spirit under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, living as a pilgrim people and moving towards the promised goal.
See The Basis of Union, the document used as the foundation of the Uniting Church in Australia.