Ministries‎ > ‎

Ecumenism

The word “Ecumenical” means “Universal”. 

The Ecumenical Movement, with the aim to work towards the unity of all Christian denominations, was originally a protestant initiative and started in 1910. In 1948 the World Council of Churches was constituted, but the Catholic Church was not initially involved. In 1950 the Lutheran Brother Roger Schultz inaugurated a inter-denominational monastery at Taize in France. 

In 1959 Pope John XXIII created the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. During the Vatican Council II (1962-65) Protestants and Orthodox were invited to participate in all working sessions. In 1964 Pope Paul VI met in Jerusalem the Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras. In 1965 a joint working group was established between the Vatican and the World Council of churches. In 1966 the Archbishop of Canterbury met Pope Paul VI. In 1968 at the 4th Assembly of the World Council of churches, Protestants, Orthodox and Catholic worked together. 

Today the Ecumenical Movement has become a search for Unity. 

In the Forest a movement towards Unity of all Christian churches started in 1976 with “Prayer for unity in the Churches”. In 1988 when word got out that there were no prayers at the official opening of the New Parliament in Canberra, the Christian Churches were shocked into action. Several busloads carried Christians from the Forest area to Canberra to join 50,000 others who went to surround the Parliament House in prayer. 

In 1993, the Anglican, Baptist and Uniting Churches organised the first Funday, an event that has become annual and has been joined by over 20 Forest churches. 

On the 15th July 1995 the first Interchurch Prayer Breakfast took place, uniting 6 different churches in prayer and a meal. Since then the event has become monthly and currently it is supported by 23 Christian churches. 

In October 1998, at the invitation of Fr Frank Meek, Bruno Spedalieri and Len Tully accepted the role of OLGC Church Coordinators, with the Forest Interchurch Movement. Today the representatives are Bruno Spedalieri, John Taylor and Allan Sykes from OLGC, Dale Dawes from Davidson, Noel Braun and Moira from St Anthony in the Fields, Terrey Hills. 

Each month between 20 and 30 people from 23 different Christian churches in the Forest area meet to meditate and pray together, to talk about the activities in each church and the difficulties encountered, and to mingle in a friendly and fraternal atmosphere praising and glorifying the Lord. The Interchurch Prayer Breakfast takes place on the 4th Saturday of each month from 7:30 am to 9:30 am. 

In 2004 the 15 member Churches of the National Council of Churches in Australia committed themselves to a Covenant, taking a decisive step towards a more visible expression of Christian Unity. The 2nd Bishop of Broken Bay, Bishop David Walker was actively involved in ecumenical exchanges with other Christian churches and on the 2nd April 2008, in Newcastle's Christchurch Anglican Cathedral he signed a Covenant with the Anglican Church, committing to a range of shared pastoral and liturgical initiatives. 

Bruno Spedalieri

2008

Comments