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The President was requested to issue a pastoral letter to the Church affirming that the Uniting Church seeks to be an inclusive Church that embraces LGBTIQ people as full members of our Church community and is committed to active and culturally appropriate discussion about marriage.

The President issued the pastoral letter on 12 August 2015.

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The proposals from the Standing Committee are built on this, and the conversations, processes and wisdom gathered over the past triennium.

Members are invited to engage with the issues, scholarship and insights that are included in this report in respectful conversations, and to prayerfully consider the proposals.

The Uniting Church has for some time been conducting its own discernment on marriage.

We acknowledge that there is a diversity of opinion in our Uniting Church community on the issue of marriage and same-gender marriage.

As the Church, we have always tried to maintain a respectful conversation on this subject between the Councils and members of our Church.

In the past triennium, as these conversations have continued, we have sought to hold a ‘space for grace’ - engaging in respectful conversations with one another, guided by the Spirit, sharing our stories and understanding of marriage and same-gender relationships in culturally appropriate ways.

Synods were requested to identify four participants for each conversation representative of the cultural, theological and personal diversity of the Uniting Church.

Additionally, UAICC was invited to provide four participants for each conversation, and a representative of the Assembly’s Working Group on Doctrine was in attendance at each conversation.

A report from the Standing Committee was to be brought to the Fifteenth Assembly.

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