As followers of Jesus and members of the church, the body of Christ, our main tasks are to love God, to love and care for all human people who live on God’s earth and to care for God’s creation. (Mat 22:34-40).
As church people we worship God and help others. We sometimes try and look for good ways to make money to help us do this. To do this we trade with other businesses or companies to buy and sell things. This business activity includes buying, selling and leasing land. When we do this, our promises to God remind us to do things that help others to grow and help good things to happen. Our belief in God also reminds us not to hurt or bring harm to others or cause them to become sick or die or to lose their land or become poor. We are responsible to look after all living things on God’s earth.
As church people we can think about good business activity and good money management in two ways. An open or positive pathway assists us to have good relationships and mutual respect for other people. God is happy when the church does business that benefits everyone.
But negative business pathways lead to damage or hurt to other people or damage to the natural environment. When other people will be hurt or suffer injustice from the way that we are thinking to use our money, God wants us to stop and not travel along that pathway.
The Northern Synod of the Uniting Church recognises the special place of Aboriginal and Islander people as the First People of this land, Australia. The Northern Synod also recognises the special place and Covenant relationship of the UAICC to the UCA Assembly. This is talked about in the Preamble to the Uniting Church Constitution. This Covenant relationship is a two-way relationship joining First Peoples and Second Peoples together to be the church and do God’s work together. This means that members of NRCC must be included as equal partners when the Northern Synod makes decisions about the right way to use money to grow the work of the church.
We are called by God to be like a good neighbour to those people who live close to us, or to other people who are affected by decisions we make. This includes thinking carefully and for a long time into the future about the natural environment where other people are living. God wants the leaders of the Northern Synod to make sure that any decisions we make about investing money in other companies or businesses will not hurt the land that God has given to other Indigenous people to look after, now, or in the future.
God wants us to have a clear understanding of our own church history and to remember and also recognise that as humans we often only think about ourselves and forget about others. This means that the choices we make may be blocking others from living in peace and receiving true justice. When we make choices about using our money, God wants us to think carefully about these things before we make our decisions for the Synod.
The guidelines in this paper include the following:
- All investments of money in banks, companies or business partnerships by the Synod
- Leasing of land owned by UCA to other companies
- Purchases of products or other services by the Synod.
These guidelines are also for use by other groups or legal bodies that are part of the Synod, such as Somerville, ARDS and various Colleges, as well as presbyteries and congregations.
Approved by consensus at the Annual Synod Meeting
held on 25-28 June 2017