We at NBUC acknowledge that we are human and accept all the associated struggles that this brings. Saying this, we also want to recognise the value of inquiry, discussion and the gift of the intellect. We believe that there is more than one way to be in and part of the church. We believe that we, the church, exist for people other than our members. We do not believe in forcing our religious beliefs on other people; but we do believe in supporting people who are spiritually searching. Our mission is to be Christ’s ever present light in a broken world.
We are an accepting, open-minded congregation that welcomes people from many walks of life and does not judge or try to impose a set way of thinking. This freedom of thought is greatly appreciated by all who experience it, and we think it suits our area. NBUC offers people the freedom to develop their own spiritual values in a non-judgmental environment. (Note, we are a gay and lesbian friendly church.) Our congregation is multicultural, with members from Australia, China, England, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, the USA and more. We have benefitted from the spiritual gifts and contributions of people from diverse backgrounds in ways that have enriched our faith, our spiritual community and our worship.
Over time, the arts and music have become a distinctive part of NBUC’s celebration of our spiritual life. Our members include a professional artist, a professional actor and an award-winning craft teacher as well as quite a few amateur creative types. The children in our congregation are artists in their own right! Music is an important part of the NBUC tradition. (If you are a musician looking for a church we would love to meet you.) We value a range of musical traditions from classical to contemporary.
We believe that living as Christians involves a commitment to social justice. Our members have been active in a range of areas including local charities and initiatives, support for refugees, prison ministry, assistance to neighbouring countries in times of crisis, sustainability, support for the Exodus Foundation, Frontier Services and more. We respect the right of individuals to hold their own political convictions and we believe that a commitment to social justice transcends party-political concerns. Sacraments and other symbolic elements of worship are expressed as forms of protest and transformation. What is symbolically enacted in worship is then taken into the world to put into practice and bring about change.
Food and hospitality are important aspects of our congregation’s activities. We often have lunches on a Sunday after service which include a delicious range of international dishes contributed by our members. Our community garden mornings include morning tea, and Cinema Meet is preceded by snacks. This is an informal part of our fellowship which is very important to us and greatly enjoyed!
We have a commitment to harmonious interfaith relations. Many of our members grew up in countries where close, positive interfaith relations were part of the fabric of everyday life. One of our members has worked with the Muslim Women’s National Network of Australia for over ten years. Several members have attended ‘Women of Faith’ dinners for Jewish, Christian and Muslim women and previous ministers have represented the Uniting Church in interfaith dialogue. We appreciate the diversity of faith traditions that contribute to a spiritually-enriched world.
A young filmmaker used our church for an SBS short film competition. We love the result and we endorse his message. My interpretation of SBS’s “Join In” invitation celebrating Australian diversity and multiculturalism.