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Canberra with beatific biblical garden with pilgrimage paths of aboriginal and christian symbols. Photo: Anna Bjorvatten Tveit/WCC

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit completed his visit to Australia this week, where he offered a sermon at St Stephens Uniting Church in Sydney.

In Australia, Tveit visited Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide, meeting with church leaders, ecumenical councils, political leaders, federal government representatives and others to discuss what the ecumenical movement is and can be in Australia, as well as in the global society in our time. The pilgrimage of justice and peace was seen by many as a refreshing and challenging new perspective.

The theme of the worship in Sydney was the way to Emmaus (Luke 24). In his sermon, Tveit explored both the rich definition and the inherent wonder of the ecumenical movement. The ecumenical movement is not something for some specialists and professionals, or for those with some special interests, he said. “It is by its very nature the people of faith, or even of doubt, that get together, walking, talking, working, eating together – experiencing that God has something more for us to understand, to see, and to love – so our hearts might be burning.”

It is a movement we make together as followers of Jesus Christ, as churches, to show that we are given something new and something so costly and important, that we have to share it with one another, and with those who live in this world with us, added Tveit. “We are in this movement sharing the joy, the justice, and the peace of God.”

We often need the presence of the other, also the unknown other, to see the truth, he continued. “And we are called to share the truth. The truth is something we owe each other, the truth about ourselves and about God.”

Tveit shared his sermon at an ecumenical, multicultural service, where the Auburn Uniting Church Youth Choir sang along with Fijian, Korean and Tongan choirs.

Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Pastor Ray Minniecon offered a welcome in his language, saying, “Let us all sit down together.”

Stuart McMillan, president of the Uniting Church in Australia, said Tveit encouraged those gathered to understand ecumenism as a journey, together where we carry the cross with those who suffer, in our pilgrimage of justice and peace. “In this, he said there will be moments of insight and our hearts will burn in the presence of Christ,” said MacMillan. “Indeed our hearts did burn as we raised our voices in song and the word was proclaimed.”

The WCC visit to Australia and New Zealand was prepared by Dr Katalina Tahaafe-Williams, WCC programme executive for migration, indigenous, and multicultural ministry programmes. Prior to moving to Geneva 2015, she worked as a Consultant for Multicultural Ministry with the Uniting Church in Australia.

Sermon by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in Sydney on 16 October 2016


Link to video streaming of the ecumenical worship in Sydney

Watch the video stream of the Bishop Michael Putney Memorial Lecture by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit on 11 October 2016

Read the full text of the Bishop Michael Putney memorial lecture by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

WCC member churches in Australia

Latest News

Is Your Financial Framework in Need of Review

Would you like to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your organisation ‘s Financial and Budgeting activities and secure your long-term financial sustainability?

We can help you to build a Strategic Financial Reporting & Budgeting Framework in a few simple cost effective steps!!

Is your organization experiencing the following financial pressures and pain points?

  • Unpredictable or sporadic net cash flows (which limits your accurate & timely cashflow forecasting)?
  • Time consuming and costly manual preparation of your Budget, Profit and Loss Statement or Income and Expenditure Statement to calculate your year to date Surplus / Deficit?
  • Time consuming and costly manual preparation of the your Actual versus Budget reporting and variance analysis/investigation?

Queensland Churches Together (QCT) – “A Financial Improvement Journey”

QCT’s financial management framework was in need of a major overhaul in several key areas. QCT’s major source of income flows from Contributions from its Member Churches. Unfortunately, there was a lack of long-term financial planning for the increase in these contributions from year to year. This meant that as QCT’s expenditure base was increasing due to inflationary pressures its major revenue streams were not increasing at a comparable rate. The long-term financial impact of this scenario could have had dire consequences for the financial sustainability of the organisation, if left unchecked. 

This situation necessitated a major overhaul of every aspect of QCT’s financial management activities, in order to restore QCT to a strong and robust financial position from a Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow perspective. Given the highly competitive not for profit environment that QCT currently operates in, it was critical that a strategic financial management approach was implemented to ensure QCT’s ongoing financial sustainability into the future. QCT’s key financial goals were achieved successfully through its strategic partnership with Apex Management Consulting (Apex), a specialist financial advisor for small to medium not for profit organisations. 

Queensland Churches Together realised its Strategic Financial Objectives/Goals by taking a few simple cost-effective steps!!

  • As a not for profit organisation Queensland Churches Together (QCT) operates in a highly competitive environment and one of its key challenges is demonstrating that it is capable of “doing more with less”.
  • QCT’s management in partnership with Apex Management Consulting (Apex) developed a financial forecasting tool which enables the organisation to predict “where it is going into the future”.
  • This ability to forecast trends on key income and expenditure items now enables QCT to predict its most likely operating surplus/deficit 6-12 months ahead of time.
  • This critical financial information allows QCT to make more informed and better decisions regarding its scarce financial resources.
  • QCT in collaboration with its strategic partner Apex, is continuing to implement several other ongoing enhancements and improvements to its governance, accounting, finance and budgeting systems and processes. 

Testimonial from the Queensland Churches Together General Secretary

“Queensland Churches Together is an ecumenical organisation consisting of sixteen churches as its members. As a small organisation we face the usual challenges of trying to serve the needs of our members using often very limited financial resources. Apex has taken a lead role in partnering with us and overhauling the ways in which our governance model, financial reporting and budgeting framework have functioned. This has meant that we have moved from an operationally focussed to a strategically focussed financial function that enables us to forecast our financial performance into the future. This underpins and facilitates improved and more informed financial decision making as we strategically plan for the future. This forward financial focus enables us to manage our scarce financial resources in a more efficient and effective manner that allows us to “deliver more with less” in a highly competitive operating environment.”

 Contacts for further information:

Richard (QCT General Secretary) on 0418 335 088 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Steve (QCT Treasurer) on 0401 295 010 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Prayer for the nation amidst COVID-19

Bishop Philip Huggins, President of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), has suggested a day of prayer for our nation on sunday 29th March.  (View letter from Bishop Huggins here)

We are in a great time of crisis so being able to prayerfully uphold out state and nation is one way of supporting our people and their communities.

A Prayer for each day at 1900 hrs, and for Sunday 29 March as we offer prayers for our nation, amidst COVID-19

Grracious God,

We give thanks anew for your providence and presence

We prayerfully seek your grace, amidst COVID-19 here and overseas.

We pray for those in need of healing.

We pray for your peace with those who are anxious of grieving

We pray you continue to strengthen and sustain all those who are serving in response.

We pray for your Holy Spirit's discernment amidst the many choices and decisions facing our national, community and medical leaders.

We pray we might each see quickly what more we can do to help those who are vulnerable

This prayer for our nation in the family of nations, with all that is in our hearts, we gather now and pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

 

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