15 Jul 2019 - by Emily Evans, Project Officer at NCCA
In the cold but pleasantly sunny surrounds of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture approximately 60 people from 11 member churches came together for the 2019 10th Triennial Forum (21-24 June) through prayer and reflection, dialogue and discernment. They gathered to renew the purpose of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) and provide direction on its activities and issues of focus for the next three years.
Executive Director of the ACC&C Rt Rev’d Professor Stephen Pickard officially welcomed the forum members with a brief history of the ACC&C and its vision at the official reception on Friday night. Representatives from the Canberra churches and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Churches’ Council were also present.
The overall theme of the NCCA forum was “Living and Walking in the Holy Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship.” The forum members discussed ideas to deepen the relationships between our churches and Christian faith communities. They looked at common areas of witness, proclamation and service which need to be transformed in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The forum heard from International Guest Speaker, Bishop George Coorilos (pictured) on doing mission from the margins. Metropolitan Geevarghese Coorilos is Bishop of Niranam diocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in India and Moderator of the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, World Council of Churches (WCC)
On Sunday afternoon, forum members were joined by members of some local churches to walk through paths in the Parliamentary Triangle of Canberra on a pilgrimage of justice and peace with our First Nations. In the chilly late afternoon air, participants walked together around the Parliamentary Zone in Canberra to significant locations related to justice, peace and reconciliation, including the High Court of Australia, Reconciliation Place and the steps of Old Parliament House. The pilgrimage celebrated the gifts, visited the wounds and continued the process of transforming the injustices.
An ecumenical service, celebrating Australian churches covenanting together, was held at Wesley Uniting Church in Forrest.
Huge thanks to the staff at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C) for their tireless assistance in supporting this event and to the churches in the Canberra region.
Photos supplied by National Council of Churches in Australia