Two visions about the Uniting Church
Rev Anne Hibbard
Some of you may wonder how I became called to the ministry of prayer leadership within the Uniting Church. It all began with a vision. The Lord spoke to me and I’ve never been the same since.
It began soon after resolution 84 going back now to 2003 when a mass exodus happened from our national church with many good leaders leaving us. At the time I was minister at Liverpool Uniting. We decided as a congregation not to worry too much even though we were disturbed the church couldn’t make a stand on this issue. We formed as a congregation our own statement on sexuality and we got on with our own mission and calling others into faith in the Lord Jesus. We had a few members leave over the issue but thought we were on our way and it was behind us.
A few months later I went on a week long prayer retreat. It was there I had the vision that changed my life.
I saw a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ and a beautiful bride. I had a sense that the bride was only part of the church – the Uniting Church. The bride and Jesus were dancing. It was very joyous. The bride then took the veil off her head and put it into pig’s slop and then put it back on her head. The bride looked to Jesus as if saying, let us go on dancing. Instead, Jesus with immense sorrow and compassion looked at the bride and wept.
From that moment I began to hear Christ’s lament for us as a church.
Jesus in his love for us all wants to tenderly wash us clean. Ephesians 5:25-27 expresses his deep desire.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
Even in our own basis of Union it says in paragraph 4 that the Lord comes addresses and deals with us.
The Uniting Church acknowledges that the Church is able to live and endure through the changes of history only because its Lord comes, addresses, and deals with people in and through the news of his completed work.
Our forebears had great faith when the Uniting Church was being formed that our Lord Jesus Christ is alive and would take and active role with us. He comes to address and deal with us through the incredible news of all that he accomplished on the cross, so that we might be able to endure through the immense changes happening in history.
Our forefathers also had faith in the role of the Holy Spirit when we have lost our way. The prayer that we can pray is expressed in the final paragraph of the basis of union
The Uniting Church prays that, through the gift of the Spirit, God will constantly correct that which is erroneous in its life, will bring it into deeper unity with other Churches
I invite you to cry out to God through this month, that through the gift of the Holy Spirit, God will correct that which is erroneous in our life. Pray that this will happen so that we can come into deeper unity with the wider body of Christ in Australia. Know that that prayer will shake our church to her core.
Erroneous means incorrect, wrong, mistaken, false, flawed, faulty, inaccurate, untrue, invalid, unfounded, spurious, amiss, unsound, wide of the mark, inexact, fallacious.
This week, 13 years later i had a follow up vision to my original vision.