Ecumenism examples and impact


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Ecumenism examples and impact

  1. 1. Ecumenism Describe the impact of Christian ecumenical movements in Australia
  2. 2. Rationale  Historically, Australia has experienced Sectarianism between Christian denominations: mainly Anglicanism and Catholicism, inherited from the UK.  Ecumenism is one of the most significant features of post-war Australian Christianity  Christianity is the major religious tradition within Australia.
  3. 3. Ecumenism  SPIRIT OF ECUMENISM The word ‘ecumenical’ is properly used to describe everything that relates to the whole task of the whole Church to bring the Gospel to the whole world. It therefore covers … both Unity and Mission in the context of the whole world. (World Council of Churches Central Committee, August 1951)  DEFINITION The efforts to restore unity among the Christian Churches, which are separated from each other in various ways.  CHARACTERISTICS  Stress on common values and teachings that prevail across all Christian Churches  The rediscovery of the shared history (Apostolic tradition) and ethos of all Christians
  4. 4. Week of Prayer for Christian Unity ~ 12 May – 19 May 2013  Recognises the common call to a prayerful life  Recognises the “unity that is visible in Christ.” (NCCA Website 2013.)  Theme: “What does God require of us?”  Scriptural Reference Micah 6: 6-8: “…what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”  Resources, prayer schedule and Ecumenical Service of Worship – a common service  Developed, by invitation, by the Student Christian Movement of India (SCMI) who is celebtrating their centenary on behalf of all Christians, worldwide  NSW Celebration: St James’ Church, Sydney (Anglican Church) (NSWEC Website 2013)
  5. 5. impact  Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:  Celebrated at Pentecost  Recognises the Apostolic starting point for all denominations  (Pentecost Sunday May 19, 2013)  Acknowledges common features:  PRAYER  SCRIPTURE  FAITH  CALLING FROM GOD  Educational  Provides an opportunity to experience the diversity of Christianity
  6. 6. NATSIEC – National Aboriginal and Torres strait islander ecumenical commission Advocacy – public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy NATSIEC is the NCCA’s advocacy commission that supports indigenous rights and reconciliation Current Stances:  The Stronger Futures Legislation is disproportionate with the peoples wishes and catapults Indigenous communities back into the micro-management of Mission days…  …cultural and social reform enforced by punitive measures… reverts back to paternalistic protectionism  (On behalf od NCCA, NATSIEC…) requests that the Government heed the message of the Northern Territory Elders, communities and service providers in the quest for authentic consultation and negotiation … so that Indigenous groups may be able to seize their OWN futures FYI: Stronger Futures Legislation is a social policy of the current Australian Federal Government, introduced in 2011 that attempts to address the key issues of DISPOSSESSION existing with Aboriginal Communities of the Northern Territory: unemployment; poor school attendance and enrolment; substance abuse; community safety; food security; housing; land reform. Maintenance of pre-existing policy Widely condemned by human rights organisations
  7. 7. impact  NATSIEC ADVOCACY  Represents the “living out” of Christianity by actively engaging in social justice and human rights issues  Represents the joint CHRISTIAN concern; a united front  Represents CHRISTIANITY before political bodies, social reform groups – e.g. NATSIEC will be consulted for the “discussion paper and consultations on post NT Intervention options.”  Presents alternatives based on their own programs in the Northern Territory
  8. 8. Uniting Church in Australia  Represents Ecumenism by its very existence  It continues this work as a vital part of it’s history and tradition through  DIALOGUE: DISCUSSIONS WITH OTHER CHURCHES TO WORK TOWARDS THE UNITY OF THE WHOLE CHURCH, WHICH IS GOD’S GIFT AND WILL  Dialogue groups adopt specific aims with the purpose of seeking to promote greater understanding, theological agreement and mutual sharing in the mission of Jesus  The groups put forward documents for consideration that each respective church governance approves or modifies  Includes: ANGLICAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA; ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH; LUTHERAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA; THE SALVATION ARMY; BAPTISM UNION OF AUSTRALIA
  9. 9. impact  Dialogue  Forum for theological, historical, ethical and practical discussions  Respect each denomination’s processes and procedures