From Friday evening 31st May – lunchtime Sunday 2nd June a group, from four denominations (Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans and Uniting Church) spent time together at Kelly House, James Byrne Centre, exploring the subject title of the Seminar “Receptive Ecumenism “. The Seminar was organized by Downs and Toowoomba Churches Together.

Key note speaker, Dr. Antonia (Toni) Pizzey , a Lecturer at Aust. Catholic University Brisbane Campus, with able back up from Rev. Canon Richard Tutin (General Secretary of Qld. Churches Together), broke open the concept of Receptive Ecumenism. They explained how we receive what other denominations bring to the equation without any of us trying to convince one another that our ideas are “right”. It is not a competition or a situation where we meet each other at the lowest common level but a sharing of the gifts that each denomination has to offer. It is unity in diversity not unity to form a mega Church. 

On the Saturday evening four young people from Brisbane and surrounds, joined us for dinner and then   shared their prospective of Ecumenism. These young people had been involved with a Youth Summit in Brisbane late last year and are keen to have young people from this region be involved. It was good for our group to hear these young people’s views.

On the Sunday morning, as it was the first day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Canon Richard used the prayer service set for the week as a basis for our Worship Service. 

At our final session of the Seminar we looked at how to move Ecumenism forward in this area and plan future activities.

Denis McAleer (secretary Downs and Toowoomba Churches Together)

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