Terms as the Uniting Church of Australia defines them

From paragraph three of the Uniting Church of Australia constitution. A couple of interesting concepts, simply described. Not all would work with Unitarian Universalists, and the UUA shouldn’t come up with a glossary including terms like these — their polity is presbyerial — but I think a congregation reasonably should, to help clarify terms and concepts. (And gets rid of coy terms as friend when adherent is meant.)

  • Adherent means a person not being a member or a member-in-association but recognised as sharing in the life of the Congregation and within the pastoral responsibility of the Church.
  • Confirmed member is a member who is recognised as having affirmed the faith, and as sharing the right and responsibility of participation in the work and government of the Church.
  • Congregation, as the embodiment in one place of the one holy catholic and apostolic church, means those people (members and adherents) who worship, witness and serve as a fellowship of the Spirit in Christ, meeting regularly to hear God’s Word, to celebrate the sacraments, to build one another up in love, to share the wider responsibilities of the Church, and to serve the world, and who are recognised as a Congregation by the Presbytery.
  • Lay Pastor is a person recognised by the Church as a Lay Pastor and set apart by commissioning for a particular placement.
  • Lay Preacher means a person who, having passed prescribed tests, is authorised to preach and is accredited.
  • Member is a baptised person recognised by the Church Council as being within the pastoral responsibility of the Church.
  • Member-in-association is a person who participates in the life of a Congregation of the Church while maintaining membership in another denomination and is recognised as having such rights and responsibilities as may be prescribed.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

1 comment

  1. Sacraments? As in, things like Communion and whatnot?

    Geez, I love sacraments. Ooooooh how I love things like Communion and receiving the ash on Ash Wednesday and all that. I wish UUs had sacraments/mysteries. I have to admit, it’s why I’m so agonizingly torn as to which direction I should go – UU or TEC. :sigh:

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