The annual in-person meeting of the ecumenical officers of the State, Territory and national councils of Churches in Australia was held in Sydney at the NCCA office on 19-20 July 2023.
Currently three meetings a year offer a space to share, reflect and pray together on the hopes, struggles, ideas and challenges, of ecumenism across Australia and provide a deeper appreciation of the diverse paths on the journey towards more visible Christian unity.
A key interest expressed by Rev David Baker, General Secretary of Queensland Churches Together, was about broadening membership to be more inclusive of all Christian Churches interested in ongoing dialogue and collaborative ministry especially in rural and regional areas.
The meeting received an online briefing from Rev Dr Tim Watson of Holy Cross Anglican Church in ACT who has developed a Youth Engagement Strategy for the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Canberra. Rev Watson is hopeful that Australia’s churches can join in supporting this new ecumenical initiative for young adults in spiritual formation and leadership development.
In reflecting on connections to the wider ecumenical movement, Rev Deacon Sandy Boyce, Executive Officer of Victorian Council of Churches, noted that many of our councils in Australia are marking 75 years of existence in 2023 alongside the World Council of Churches that was formed in 1948.
“The Victorian State Council of WCC was formed in 1948 and incorporated as its own entity as Victorian Council of Churches in 1968. But VCC was actually inaugurated in 1912 after the Edinburgh World Missionary Conference in 1910. A long history and something to celebrate,” said Rev Sandy Boyce in her agenda notes.
“It has been enlivening and encouraging to share together with people from across Australia and to hear the hope and sense of mission that we have in our work for Christian unity” said Rev Anne Hewitt, Executive Officer of Churches Together South Australia.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,
as indeed you are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11)
First published on the National Council of Churches in Australia website on 21 July 2023.Jump to next article