“Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” [I Kings 19.11-13]
How easily we define our task, our identity, our selves, by where we have come from. When Elijah is asked, he reflects upon the journey which brought him face to face with God; he did not imagine that God might be asking him about the future into which God might lead him, in hope and wonder.
We are the Uniting Church because of where God is leading us and calling us, not simply because of the vision and courage of our parents and grandparents. Our mission lies before us, and not behind. We have served God’s world in worship, witness and service, but there is yet more for us.
The faithfulness and hope which responded to God’s call forty-five years ago and more is not our identity. Our past is not our call. It is the future into which Christ has already spoken, and in which we are called to bear witness to what Christ has done, and to what Christ is doing – and yet to do.
What are we doing here?
The Spirit of Christ urges us to proclaim in new and radical ways; to serve in communities of faith our founders could not imagine; to offer hope and justice to people who the world would discard, punish or deny.
We are the Uniting Church, because of the risen, crucified Lord, who calls us to serve today and into tomorrow.
To this end they declare their readiness to go forward together in sole loyalty to Christ the living Head of the Church; they remain open to constant reform under his Word; and they seek a wider unity in the power of the Holy Spirit. [Basis of Union, Para. 1]