New President and Chair Elected for CCWA

CCWA is delighted to welcome Right Reverend Brian Kyme to the role of President.  Bishop Kyme is currently the Director of the Institute of Anglican Studies at St Georges Cathedral in Perth.

He has had a long involvement with both the ecumenical movement and is a past member and office bearer of CCWA.  The Council looks forward to sharing his experience and wisdom.

 

The Council is equally as delighted to welcome Rev Dennis Ryle, Church of Christ Wembley Downs,  as Chairperson.  Dennis has had a long association with CCWA as an Associate and Member of the Council.  He has been a tireless worker for ecumenism which is most clearly demonstrated in his work with the Council, and in his Church which has been operating as a Peace Church for a number of years, in response to a CCWA initiative.  Two areas of focus have emanated from this – a local congregational environmental policy, and  the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan.

The Council welcomes his commitment and enthusiasm.

Electing new office bearers means saying farewell to those who have held the role, and it is with regret that we say goodbye to Ramzy Sawiris, past President who not only leaves the role but also CCWA as he travels to USA to continue his work in the oil and gas industry.  We thank him for his wisdom the clear thinking; for his boundless hospitality, and for his dedication and commitment to our churches working together.

We also thank past Chair, Rev Jeni Goring for the graciousness that she brought to that role. She has also been deeply involved with the ecumenical movement and has been able to offer much knowledge and understanding as the Council has grappled with some difficult issues.  We are delighted that Jeni will remain on the Council.

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Annual General Meeting

The Council of Churches WA  Annual General Meeting was held at St Peters and Emmaus Church Joondanna on Saturday morning.  The gathering heard reports from staff members, chaplains and associate members, which provided an overview of the work of the Council in 2011.

Rev Allan Forsythe spoke about the difficulties experienced by exiting prisoners who may have lost touch with their families and friends, and who find it difficult to find supportive communities.

Rev Lorna Green, Acting Field Officer, spoke of a new vision for the way in which CCWA resources chaplaincy in a number of settings – hospital, prison and industry.

Please contact Isobelle at ecumenical@churcheswa.com.au if you would like to know more about the work of the Council.

 

WCC pays tribute to late president Pope Shenouda III

Pope Shenouda III, spiritual leader of the Egyptian Coptic Church since 1971 and a president of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 1991 to 1998, passed away of natural causes on Saturday 17 March. In a letter to the church dated 18 March, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit paid tribute to Pope Shenouda’s unwavering pursuit of Christian unity and peace throughout the Middle East and the world.

“As a leader he taught us that modesty is the best way to serve Christ,” wrote Tveit, noting that Shenouda is remembered as “a strong believer in Christian-Muslim conviviality and cooperation. His initiatives in the field of interreligious dialogue contributed to the unity of the Egyptian people.” Continue reading

Thin Places Everywhere (Bruce Epperly)

Thin Places Everywhere:
A Celtic St. Patrick’s Meditation
Bruce Epperly
Like many students of spirituality and theology, I have been intrigued by the Celtic vision of “thin places.”  You might say that my recent book, The Center is Everywhere: Celtic Spirituality in the Postmodern World, is a poetic meditation on experiencing thin places in daily life.
According to the Celtic sages, thin places are spaces where the divine and human, the creator and creature, intermingle and are entangled.  I suspect, like Annie Dillard’s “tree with lights,” such thin places are everywhere but they burst forth in those intentional or unguarded moments when the divine becomes transparent to us.  The world is charged with electricity, energy, and grandeur and we are transfigured by the experience. Continue reading

Unity is God’s gift to the church, says Archbishop of Canterbury

Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, addressing a roundtable on “unity of the Christian church” at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.

“Unity is neither a means nor an end,” he told assembled staff, visitors and governing body members of the WCC and other organizations in the Ecumenical Centre. “Unity is what God has given us in the church.”

The responsibility of Christians who receive the gift of unity, he continued, lies in “seeking a life in which no one is without the other.” This life, “constantly moving us forward into a further truth”, compels all who live within the love of God to ask the question: “Who is not yet here?” Continue reading

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina: A brief history

Latin for Divine Lectionary or Sacred Reading.Lectio Divina is a very old method of reflection on scripture, which finds its roots in the desert movement in early Christianity. The desert fathers and mothers were a strong movement in the first four centuries of Christianity. The desert is the place where Jesus went after his baptism. It is the place where God was found and a relationship with God built in many other instances in scripture. These desert fathers and mothers lived alone or in small groups, gradually clustering in monasteries;  moving from living alone- to living alone together- to sharing a communal life. They were always lively in their interaction with the larger faith community who came to seek their wisdom or simply meet with them. Continue reading

Prayer of the Heart

Prayer of the Heart

Different styles of contemplative prayer have the same intention. They are to help you move away from years of trying to pray correctly, to a deeper awareness of God.

(1 Cor. 13:11) When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. The invitation here is to grow in our relationship with God. The child like way of prayer may no longer fit a maturing faith. Continue reading

Resources Available

New resources from the Wellspring Centre at Ashburton, Victoria.

Centering Prayer

There are different types of silence we experience in meditation and different styles of prayer to practice entering the silence but focused on intentional silence, which is what we are practicing in centering prayer. This is a deliberate effort to restrain the wandering of the mind, either by slowing down the thought process itself or by developing a means of detaching oneself from it. Intentional silence almost always feels like work. It doesn’t come naturally. To most people, there isconsiderable resistance raised from the mind itself. Continue reading

WCC expresses concern over human right violations in Tanah Papua

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee recently issued a statement expressing concern over the escalation of violence in Tanah Papua, Indonesia. They urged the Indonesian authorities to stop the killings of civilians at the hands of armed forces and protect the rights of Papuan people. Continue reading