As Victorian Council of Churches executive officer, Sandy Boyce (pictures) aims to continue ensuring the organisation is heard, and says a 1952 ecumenical statement offers a guide to how churches can come together in that space.
In the Third Faith and Order Conference in Lund, Sweden, that year, the principle for ecumenical relationships was set out: “Should not our churches ask themselves whether they are showing sufficient eagerness to enter into conversation with other churches, and whether they should not act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel them to act separately?” the principle states.
Sandy says the Lund principle still resonates 70 years later. “Instead of doing ecumenical things, Christians and churches should try to do things ecumenically, in particular, to do things together which are already a part of their normal life, that is to share a common life,” she says.
“At the heart of the ecumenical movement is this strong commitment to working together, a sense of partnering with other churches from other traditions.
“It’s about what we can learn from each other as we work together and about building relationships, trust and respect together as a witness to the Gospel.”
[from an article by Andrew Humphries in “Crosslight” the Uniting Church of Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Magazine February 2023]
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Alan Ray, Highfield Road Uniting Church