The Uniting Church affirms the priesthood of all believers: that every member of the Church has gifts for service, and that all ministries have a part in the ministry of Christ. The Uniting Church provides for the exercise by men and women of the gifts God bestows upon them, including through specified ministries and the everyday vocations of Christian disciples in the world. (Basis of Union, par 13)
Discernment is the intentional practice by which a community or an individual seeks, recognises, and sets out to take part in the activity of God in a real-world situation. In the Uniting Church discernment of gifts for ministry is both individual and communal.
The Period of Discernment is the Uniting Church’s process for shared discernment between individuals exploring their life purpose and the Church’s many expressions of vocation and ministry.
The Uniting Church recognises that the type and duration of ministries to which women and men are called vary from time to time and place to place, and that in particular it comes into being in a period of reconsideration of traditional forms of the ministry, and of renewed participation of all the people of God in the preaching of the Word, the administration of the sacraments, the building up of the fellowship in mutual love, in commitment to Christ’s mission, and in service of the world for which he died. (Basis of Union, par 14)