"..that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." John 17.21
After 30 years of life, the QCT Executive decided it is time for QCT to lead a discussion on the future of Ecumenical relations in Qld.
We decided to call the discussion Project 1721, after John 17:21, where Jesus prayed that his followers may be one, as he and the Father are one, that the world might know the Father sent him.
Reasons for Project 1721:
What we’d like to see as a result of this discernment journey
The month of May is Domestic Violence Awareness month throughout Queensland.
Churches in Qld have been holding awareness services and vigils as part of the awareness raising. This included an Evensong service dedicated to Domestic Violence held at St John's Cathedral on 14th May. The sermon was presented by Rev'd Ros Clifton. Ros shared that she had participated in a JCDVPP workshop 30 years ago! A recording of the service can be viewed here. Sermon starts at 59m 39s.
St Catherine's Anglican Church in Middle Park, incorporated Domestic Violence into their service on 7th May. 18 candles were lit, one for each week of the year, a visual representation of the one woman per week on average that are killed by a present or past intimate partner. Each week in May they will light an additional candle.
Our Lady of Graces Catholic parish in Carina included in their newsletter during May information and statistics on DFV, how to support victims and links to and contact details for DFV services.
The Ridley Certificate Course - Responding to Domestic Family Violence
JCDVPP are recommending, for those that would like to study more about responding to DFV, the free Ridley certificate course.
The course has 6 units:
1. The nature of DFV
2. Spiritual Abuse
3. How to teach helpfully
4. How to respond to disclosures of abuse
5. How to care for a survivor of long term abuse
6. Responding to people who choose to use violence
The teaching is online via videos and readings. You can complete the course in your own time.
The checklist below, of questions to consider when you evaluate the culture in your Church, comes from the Ridley course.
To enrol on the course go to:
Evaluating the Culture of Your Church
21 - 28 May 2023
“Do good; seek justice.” (Isaiah 1:17)
This year resources for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) resources have been created by Minnesota Council of Churches.
The theme, Do good, seek justice, comes from Isaiah 1.17: "Learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plan for the widow."
Resources adapted for use in Australia are available from the NCCA website and include promotion material, prayer card, worship service and sermon notes, and reflections for the 8 days. Click here.
God of justice and truth,
we seek your guidance to embody the prophet’s call
to do good and to seek justice.
May we grow with the courage and compassion of Christ,
and walk in the way of
peace and reconciliation.
May God’s Spirit enliven and embolden us to stand in solidarity with others
until all are treated with dignity and worth.
May our holy living be a foretaste
of the mercy and blessing
of the reign of God. Amen
The Anglican SQ Diocese has published a list of resources, ready for National Reconciliation Week, to help clergy and lay leaders to discuss the referendum on The Voice. The resources can be accessed via The Anglican Focus - link here:
Uluru Statement (including Voice to Parliament referendum) resources for clergy and lay leaders (anglicanfocus.org.au)
The Catholic Archdiocese has created a 4 week study for small groups called "Voice Crying in the Wilderness". Although it has the title "a Easter to Pentecost Discussion series" - the study can be used at any time of the year. It gives participants/readers the opportunity to reflect on the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The theme for this years Season of Creation is Let Justice and Peace Flow. Season of Creation runs from 1st September to 4th October.
Tuesday 15 Aug 7pm at the Francis Rush Centre
Speaker: Stephen Bevans SVD, member of the WCC Commission for World Mission and Evangelism.
Respondents: Rev Charissa Suli, President Elect of the Uniting Church and Tim Fawcett from Scripture Union.
The event will be livestreamed and recorded.
Issue 3/22. December 2022
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Well, we come to the end of 2022, and I’m sure many folk are looking forward to a break and the time to take a breather before the new year begins; to touch again the foundation of our faith; that God has become one with us in the babe of Bethlehem.
It is profoundly encouraging to see the hospitality of spirit, and the readiness to work in collaboration that marks the life of the Christian Church in Queensland. It does reflect part of the culture of Queensland – a readiness to “get on with the job” – but I think it has also roots in the leadership of the churches. Friendships between Anglican and Catholic Archbishops in Queensland go back to Halse and Duhig in the early part of the twentieth century; Rush and Grindrod also had a warm friendship, and following that Battersby and Hollingsworth; the current Archbishops have been profoundly influential in their leadership of inter-denominational relationships. We are deeply appreciative of the recently retired Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, who shared with insight, wisdom, and respect among the Heads of Churches gatherings.
Another influence on this collaboration was the former Brisbane College of Theology, which enabled those forming for ministry in the Anglican, Catholic, and Uniting Churches to study together; this experience became foundational for the emerging leadership in the churches in Queensland.
More recently, we have seen Pentecostal leadership express a desire to work more ecumenically, which has been greatly encouraging.
So, many opportunities are emerging, and they are being taken up in increasing non-institutional ways; networks are emerging – like the Christian RI Alliance, and the Disaster Chaplaincy Network - with a renewed sense of vitality to bear witness together to the love of God in Jesus Christ.
In my family home was a polished piece of wood with the following words:
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
King George VI quoted those words from Minnie Louise Haskins’ poem in his Christmas broadcast in 1939.
They still speak to me, and in the midst of our own challenges today, they ask us to go forth in confident hope; may that hope be yours’ this Christmas, and may we, the churches of Qld, be hopebearers to our communities.
QCT Office Bearers 2022/23
President Fiona Patterson (Uniting)
First Vice President. Joe Goodall (QCF)
Second vice President. Mark Ghobrial (Coptic Orthodox)
Two speakers featured at the AGM at the end of October, Nick Mackay introduced the meeting to Nayba and Archbishop Phillip Aspinall shared his experiences at the recent WCC Assembly.
Nayba is a global network that started 10 years ago in the UK. It resources churches to work ecumenically in cities and districts. They offer a process that works in three key areas:
Measure: Nayba carries out impact audits which measure the contribution of the Church to the wider community. The benefits of the audits include encouraging unity; celebrating the positive impact of the Church on the Community; opens conversation with other sectors of the community and it gives an opportunity to share good news about the Church, countering some of the bad press in the media.
Menu: The NAYBA website has listings of stories and projects that are working well
Mobilise: helping the local church address key areas affecting the community (for example, Mental Health, Domestic Violence, Disaster Relief)
The WCC Assembly normally meets every eight years. 2022 marked the 11th Assembly and took place in Germany. Abp Aspinall was one of 800 official delegates from around the world. The Archbishop shared with us his reflections on the Assembly. A copy of his reflections, together with background information and listings of documents worth checking out can be found at http://www.qct.org.au/images/PresentationAbpAspinall.pdf
Here is the final reflection the Archbishop shared with us:
“One final reflection, not from the assembly, but from the Anglican Orthodox theological dialogue that I attended in Athens last week. Metropolitan Athenagoras of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, several times quoted the words of Cardinal Mercier to the Malines Conversations in the 1920s, which set the dialogue ball rolling between Roman Catholics and Anglicans. Cardinal Mercier said a century ago:
In order to unite with one another,
we must first love one another;
in order to love one another,
we must first know one another;
in order to know one another,
we must first go and meet one another.
There’s talk in some circles of an ecumenical winter, a loss of passion, energy and resolve about Christian unity. Perhaps that pessimism reflects nothing more than the fact that in the years since the 1920s, we’ve become so accustomed to meeting one another we’ve lost sight of the fact that that is the very means by which the Holy Spirit begins to transform us. Let us then not tire of meeting one another so that we can know one another, in order to love one another and eventually be united in that unity for which Christ himself prayed.”
JCDVPP are in the process of having their tri-fold leaflet translated into Arabic, Simple Chinese, Tagalog and Samoan.
The leaflets will be circulated early in the new year, and available to download from the QCT website.
Work will commence next year on creating JCDVPP’s own webpage.
JCDVPP plan to run a face to face DV Workshop In May, during Domestic & family violence Prevention Month.
This year, JCDVPP prepared sermon notes for Advent. The notes were available for use in services or home groups. For Lent the team will produce a set of prayers/prayer points that could be used for the six Sundays in Lent. The use of such materials In Church will help to raise awareness that DFV happens in churches too, that violence Is not acceptable In a Christian community, and of the need to break the taboo and bring DFV into the open.
Office bearers for 2023:
Chair: Rev’d Peter Moore (Anglican Church)
Vice Chair: Dr David Tutty (Catholic Church – Toowoomba Diocese)
Social Media – Rev Craig Batty (Uniting)
Huge thank you to Neil Bergmann, who has acted as Chair of QCEN for the last four years
QCEN will be welcoming two new delegates from the Anglican NQ Diocese, Rev’d Neil Forgie and Rev’d Ann Dittmar-McCollim in the new year
On Earth Festival
Kumi Abeysuriya and John Oxenford jointly gave a presentation on sustainability at the On Earth Festival at St Francis College.
Copies of their presentations are available here:
The letter is a film produced by the Vatican about the effects of the climate crisis on the poor, the indigenous, youth and nature. The Pope invited a representative from each of these groups – an orphan from Senegal, a chief from the Amazon, a young climate activist from India and two researchers from Hawaii, to talks in Rome. The film documents their journey to Rome and their stories. It is incredibly moving.
Link to the film: https://theletterfilm.org/watch/
LAMBETH CALL: ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The Lambeth calls are a series of declarations, affirmations and common appeals to the Anglican Church on 10 key issues. Here is an extract from the call for Environment and Sustainable Development:
2.8 By the next Lambeth Conference, increasing areas of the Communion will be uninhabitable, because of drought, rising sea levels and other impacts as we reach tipping points in climate change. Meanwhile despite these terrible realities, carbon emissions continue to rise and there are over 50,000 new fossil fuel developments in the pipeline. Our oceans and rivers are clogged with plastic and people are choking and dying from polluted air. The web of life is becoming so damaged by the loss of biodiversity that the integrity of creation is under threat.
2.9 The global response has been wholly inadequate—both in the level of resources dedicated to the response and in the level of urgency with which those with most power to make radical changes are taking action.
3.1 For ourselves and for future generations we need to act now, urgently and at scale.
3.2 However, actions are difficult to sustain unless there is also the transformation of hearts and minds from which such action flows. The climate emergency is not just a physical crisis – it is also a spiritual one.
3.3 Humanity needs a spiritual and cultural transformation. We must see the world differently: repenting of and rejecting an extractive world view, which regards the earth and all nature as something to be exploited, and embracing a relational worldview, espoused especially by indigenous peoples, which sees the profound interdependence of all creation.
The full document can be viewed here http://www.qct.org.au/images/qcen/Lambeth-Calls-July-2022-EnvSustain.pdf
VAD review of resources
QCT have commissioned a researcher, Rosemary Wycherly, to carry out a review of resources on Voluntary Assisted Dying, that could be used by the Churches. The review Is divided Into the following sections: The Legislation, theological REflections, Your Church's position and Pastoral Care resources. To make the review widely available, a VAD page will be added to the QCT website.
Bishop Michael Putney Memorial Lecture
This year's Bishop Michael Putney lecture took place In November and featured two short presentations followed by questions and discussion. The guest speakers were Dr Peter Kline, Academic Dean of St Francis College and Rev Janet Staines from the Chermside Kedron Community Church . The speakers were given the brief of looking at the prayer for unity in John 17 - Jesus praying that the disciples can be one just as the Father and the Son are one. Both speakers talked about working with others at the margins. For example, Peter Kline started by looking at how the Father and Son are one, "The Father and Son are one in the activity of loving the world."
On working together at the margins, Janet proposed, "Working cooperatively and practising solidarity with those on the margins and those in need, constitutes a clear witness to unity of the faith. We must not easily dismiss these actions as unofficial fellowship but rather perhaps see them as a new expression of ecumenism."
Abp Coleridge acted as MC for the evening and joined with the guest speakers in the discussion.
The lecture can be viewed on line at livestream.com/ggservices/bmplecture22 (start watching from 12.50 mins).
Queensland Disaster Chaplaincy Network (QDCN)
Thanks to the enthusiasm and energy of its members, the QDCN has achieved a lot since it was established this year. A Qtender application has been submitted, together with an application for funding for training. The group are putting together training materials, based on the NSW Disaster Response Chaplaincy Network training materials and hope to roll out the training next year. The plan will be to offer training to Ministers and Chaplains, to augment their existing skills so they are equipped to respond to disasters. Keep a look out for more information on training next year once the program is rolled out. If you think this is an area in which you would like to be involved, please email QCT and we will ensure you receive information on the training once it is finalised.
Calling and Caring
Unfortunately the last LAB1 course had to be cancelled as we did not quite have enough people registered. We will organise another course for the first half of the new year.
Congratulations to Margaret Naylon on receipt of the Papal Award, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the highest recognition that can be received by Laity. Margaret received the award for her decades of leadership in advancing ecumenical and interfaith relations.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge presented the award at a special celebration on 5th December with guests from many different religions and faiths.
QCT General Meeting Dates 2023
Assembly: 29 April 2023
AGM: 28 October 2023