At the NCCA
The 2001 Forum of the National Council of Churches in Australia formed the Gender Commission from its previous Network on Women and Gender Relationships (1996).
Rationale and Theological Underpinnings
Inclusivity - women have a perspective that needs to be promoted and will be valued in discussion and explorations of practices, policies and attitudes within NCCA, Commissions, member churches and the Australian society.
Diversity - the rich diversity that exists within our various denominational traditions with relation to women's issues needs to recognised, honoured and valued in the programmes, discussions, practices, policies and attitudes of NCCA Commissions and member churches.
Creativity - we will embrace the creative gifts evident in our community in the expression of the work of the Commission.
The Commission recognises the struggle of women and supportive men within the various church traditions and structures to develop inclusive models of community, education and ministry The Commission is aware that in many of our churches the role and place of women continues to be limited by oppressive structures. In keeping with the Scriptural principle "all are created in the image of God" the Commission will continue to follow the actions of Jesus who recognised and gave standing to the roles and place of women, and will discern carefully and reflect on the Gospel message as it is being lived out in our churches. The Commission will continue to act like Jesus with wholeness and dignity in its decision making and in its task of dialogue leading to action for education, justice and equality within and between churches.
The NCCA Gender Commission will work to develop and promote effective inclusive models of Christian life within and between member churches, NCCA, Commissions and Networks and other agencies as appropriate.
Role of the Commission:
To be a resource for the Executive, National Forum, heads of churches on matters pertaining to women and the relationship between women and men within the church.
To discern, name and advise on issues pertaining to inclusivity and bring them to the consideration of the NCCA Executive and National Forum.
To develop, promote and engender ecumenical discussion and dialogue on inclusivity in NCCA member churches while taking into account the ethnic, theological and cultural diversity between and within the churches and church agencies.
To contribute the perspective of women to official NCCA policy, the internal life of the Council, its commissions, networks, agencies and member churches
* the exploration of inclusive ministry in all its forms within all NCCA member churches
* women to access theological education
To consult with and contribute to the work of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission on gender issues.
To foster discussion with women in an in interfaith context on gender issues that are common to our communities.
To facilitate wider ecumenical relationships by:
* maintaining communication with the Women's Unit of the World Council of Churches; and
* building and maintaining effective relationships with the Christian Conference of Asia and the Pacific Council of Churches.