Receptive Ecumenism seminar -Toowoomba
From Friday evening 31st May – lunchtime Sunday 2nd June a group, from four denominations (Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans and Uniting Church) spent time together at Kelly House, James Byrne Centre, exploring the subject title of the Seminar “Receptive Ecumenism “. The Seminar was organized by Downs and Toowoomba Churches Together.
Key note speaker, Dr. Antonia (Toni) Pizzey , a Lecturer at Aust. Catholic University Brisbane Campus, with able back up from Rev. Canon Richard Tutin (General Secretary of Qld. Churches Together), broke open the concept of Receptive Ecumenism. They explained how we receive what other denominations bring to the equation without any of us trying to convince one another that our ideas are “right”. It is not a competition or a situation where we meet each other at the lowest common level but a sharing of the gifts that each denomination has to offer. It is unity in diversity not unity to form a mega Church.
On the Saturday evening four young people from Brisbane and surrounds, joined us for dinner and then shared their prospective of Ecumenism. These young people had been involved with a Youth Summit in Brisbane late last year and are keen to have young people from this region be involved. It was good for our group to hear these young people’s views.
On the Sunday morning, as it was the first day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Canon Richard used the prayer service set for the week as a basis for our Worship Service.
At our final session of the Seminar we looked at how to move Ecumenism forward in this area and plan future activities.
Denis McAleer (secretary Downs and Toowoomba Churches Together)
Global support grows for “Season of Creation”
Global support continues to grow for the Season of Creation, an annual celebration of prayer and action to protect creation that is celebrated by tens of thousands of Christians of all traditions around the world. Running from 1 September to 4 October, the Season of Creation’s beginning and end dates are linked with the concern for creation in the Eastern and the Western traditions of Christianity, respectively.
Plans are now underway to celebrate the Season of Creation during 2019 with the theme of “The Web of Life.”
The proposal to celebrate a "Time for Creation" during these five weeks was made by the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu in 2007. The following year, the World Council of Churches Central Committee invited churches to observe a "Time for Creation" through prayers and actions.
The first of September is observed as a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, proclaimed by Patriarch Dimitrios I for the Orthodox Church in 1989 and endorsed by Pope Francis in 2015.
On 4 October, Roman Catholics and other churches from the Western traditions commemorate Francis of Assisi.
The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (Roman Catholic Church) recently extended an invitation to its constituency to join in celebrating the Season of Creation. In a time of climate emergency, the celebration of Season of Creation can work as a spiritual grounding of our action to change the world to a more sustainable home for all forms of life that share the gift of life. It is also a way of showing ecumenical unity in our efforts to lessen the ecological footprint of humanity by praying and acting together.