The Act2 Project began in early 2020. Since that time, it has hosted national conversations, invited the insights of the wider Uniting Church, produced some theological resources and released some major reports on what it was hearing. Each stage in the process has built on the one before, as we’ve been attentive to the Holy Spirit and each other.

March 2020

  • The Act2 project is commissioned by the Assembly Standing Committee.

In March 2020, the Assembly Standing Committee (ASC) commissioned the Act2 project to identify and implement sustainable structures, practices, and ways of working that would position the Uniting Church to grow into its calling in the decades ahead. It focussed on three things: creating an environment where local communities are empowered in their worship, witness, service and discipleship; fostering a cohesive national character and increasing collaboration; and ensuring we fulfil our legal, ethical and social obligations.

The ASC adopted a Statement of the Task, and the Act2 Task Group was established to carry the work forward.

Statement of the Task

Belonging to the people of God on the way, praying for the gift of the Spirit and entering into a period of self-examination of our life we are guided by the vision of the Basis of Union and embody rich and diverse expressions of the Church. ​

Living in a time of significant change, we heed the invitation of the Basis of Union to consider afresh the ordering of our lives so that we can live out our common commitment to the Church’s mission and to demonstrate our unity.​

Our task is to identify and implement sustainable structures, practices and ways of working which:​

  1. Create an enabling environment for local communities of worship, witness, service and discipleship formation.​
  2. Foster a cohesive national character of the Church and collaborative ways of working across the Church.​
  3. Fulfil the Church’s legal, ethical and social obligations.​

In all this we recognise that in his own strange way Christ constitutes, rules and renews us as his Church.​

November 2020

  • The Act2 Project is launched, along with the paper, ‘An introduction to Act2’.

In November 2020, the Act2 Project was launched and introduced to the wider Church with this paper, ‘An Introduction to Act2’.

December 2020

  • The Act2 Task Group begins seeking the insights of the wider Church through the first national survey. This runs until April 2021.

From December 2020 to April 2021, the Act2 Task Group ran its first open survey to seek the national Church’s insights, experiences, and learnings. Over 600 responses were received in writing from people and communities in many UCA contexts.

January-February 2021

  • Six national online conversations take place.

During the period in which the survey was running, from January to February 2021, the Assembly also hosted six national Zoom conversations. Five of these were open to all and one was a gathering of Uniting Church community service agency leaders.

October 2021

  • The Act2 Task Group releases ‘Act2: Considering Afresh our Life Together.’ its first major report.
  • A second national survey opens, and runs until January 2022.

In October 2021, the Task Group released Act2: Considering Afresh Our Life Together, our report on the feedback and potential directions. Attached to this report was a second national survey so people could let us know whether we’d heard the feedback right and help us discern the next steps. This ran until January 2022.

During this time, the Task Group consulted broadly across the Church including with presbyteries, the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, National Conferences, and the Synods.

October 2021

  • A new study series on the Basis of Union is released.

In November 2021 the Assembly released Our Life Together: Reflections on the Basis of Union, a new study series encouraging people to reflect on our foundations and theological identity. Written by Uniting Church minister and theologian Rev Dr Geoff Thompson, the studies remain available as a resource.

March 2022

  • The Act2 Task Group reports to the Assembly Standing Committee ahead of the Assembly meeting.

In March 2022, ahead of the reconvened 16th Assembly, the Act2 Task Group reported to the Assembly Standing Committee.

May 2022

  • The Assembly Standing Committee delivers ‘Act2: On the Way’, its report to the 16th Assembly meeting.
  • The Assembly passes a resolution on how the Project will progress.

In May 2022, the Assembly Standing Committee brought its report on Act2 to the Assembly meeting, called Act2: On The Way, and a series of recommendations for how it might move forward. The Assembly passed a resolution commissioning particular pieces of work, and tasked the ASC with progressing the Project.

July 2022

  • The Assembly Standing Committee establishes the Act2 Steering Committee and Project Unit, and approves a plan to resource the Project.

In August 2022, the ASC established the Steering Committee, a national group drawn from across the Uniting Church, and approved a plan for resourcing the Project and Project Unit.

September-October 2022

  • The Act2 Project Lead and four members of the Project Unit are appointed.
  • The Act2 Steering Committee meets for the first time.

In September and October 2022, the Act2 Project Lead and members of the Act2 Project Unit were appointed. The Steering Committee meets for the first time.

November 2022-May 2023

  • The exploration phase begins.

In November 2022 the time to explore ideas and possibilities together began. From late 2022 until May 2023, we reached out to every congregation and faith community right across the country. We deepened our engagement with key leaders across our Church. This was to help shape the key insights, issues and contexts to shape the options we would offer the Church. We generated and explored ideas, thought about how we could shape our life differently, and prepared ourselves to participate in the next phase: an intensive period of shared discernment across the Uniting Church. This culminated in a whole of Church period of prayer and reflection between Pentecost 2023 on 28 May and the 46th anniversary of the Uniting Church on 22 June.

June 2023-November 2023

  • Collective discernment begins.

In June 2023 we engaged in an intensive period of shared discernment. From June to November 2023 we asked the Church to discern where you believe God is leading us. We participated in as many meetings of Presbyteries and Synods as possible along with other key governing bodies. We sought to offer the Church possible options and directions to assist this process. All parts of the Church—congregations, church councils, agencies, schools, presbyteries, synods ministers, colleges, conferences, and networks—were invited to consider specific ideas. To find solutions for our life we needed to find ways of finding common directions not only within councils but across our councils and governing bodies. This was a period of intense prayer and deliberation essential to the success of the project.

November 2023-July 2024

  • Recommendations for action are published for the 17th Assembly.

The recommendations were defined in the report ‘The Gift of the Spirit’, and will be put before the 17th Assembly for action. This will involve consideration of the insight and wisdom drawn from our collective discernment. It has always been the hope of this project that it would lead towards concrete action and change, inspired and informed by the reflection and discernment of the Church. We anticipate that the change arising from this process will begin to take place across the triennium of the 17th Assembly.