A Flourishing Society: Your Faith, Your Voice, Your Vote is a resource to help you think about your vote at the 2016 Federal Election. It is an invitation to consider some of the important issues that the Uniting Church and its members have been engaged with through our ministry and advocacy. The booklet, A Flourishing Society, contains information to help you think about your vote as a positive contribution to a flourishing society which values the good of all people and the planet, now and into the future.
(Keep a lookout on the Uniting Justice website for A Flourishing Society due to be released very soon)
The Election Toolkit is full of ideas to help you actively engage with your local candidates.
A message from the President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Stuart McMillan.
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” said Jesus. (John 10:10) The picture of abundant life that’s painted in the biblical texts is one of peace and reconciliation, justice and transformation, love and inclusion for all creation. It is about wholeness of life and access to all that is necessary for people to flourish.
We are called to participate in God’s mission for the world – a mission of reconciliation that is God’s love acting in the world through us – for justice and peace. Following the example of Jesus and with the wisdom and grace of the Spirit we make God’s love manifest for people as they experience dignity, respect, meaning and purpose in life, connection with the earth and all its creatures, health and security, inclusion in communities of care and participation in society. These are the necessary ingredients for people to flourish. When they are reflected in public policy (the laws, regulations, programs and funding that governments deliver on our behalf) they are typically defined by policies in such areas as social welfare and community services, human rights, environment, finance and economy, employment, housing, health and education.
In public policy terms, in an affluent nation like ours, people flourish when they are safe from violence, harm and persecution, have decent employment and adequate support in unemployment, are able to access adequate and appropriate, healthcare, education and housing, and are able to participate in decision-making in the community. Our society flourishes when there is equity among all people, when we have a vibrant civil society and a political system that is robust and has integrity, when human rights are upheld and when we act with respect and care for the planet and the diversity of life that depends on its health and wellbeing.
The areas of public policy covered in this suite of resources reflect the ministry of the Uniting Church Assembly through its various agencies and units and some of the priorities identified by Uniting Church synods through their social justice units. My hope is that this resource will help you to consider your vote through the lens of our faith and the gospel values which compel us all to be engaged in God’s mission in the world.
The Uniting Church has, since its beginning, sought to engage constructively in national affairs. We hear God’s call on us as a fellowship of reconciliation and as individuals to stand against injustice, greed and prejudice and work for a society marked by justice, peace and hope. I would encourage you, during the course of the election campaign and through your vote to make known what matters most, enabling us together to grow a flourishing society.
Stuart McMillan, President, Uniting Church in Australia
*Mägayamirri Rom, in the Yolŋu languages of North East Arnhem Land means: “the way of peace and tranquillity, harmony with the whole of creation, be with and within you.”