Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Joy of Ecumenism!

Yes, it's almost as good as...well, the other thing that comes to mind with that title!

Today, at the Orientale Lumen Conference, among Catholics and Orthodox and Orientals, Lutheran, Anglican, Catholic, Ukrainian, Antiochian, Coptic, Russian, Uniting Church, Serbian (...did I miss anyone out?) Christians, I heard a wonderful paper on the centrality of the Resurrection to our Christian faith (by Fr Prof. Anthony Kelly), another by Fr Columba Stewart OSB on eastern and western traditions of monastic progress in sanctification, and finally one by Prof. Mary Cunningham, an Orthodox convert and prof. at Nottingham University in England on the Theotokos.

I think the most wonderful individual I met today was an Irish Ukrainian Greek Catholic (yes, get your head around that one!) from Dublin, Archimandrite Serge Keleher.

But joy of great joys for me was a reunion with my one time brothers in the Lutheran ministry, Dr Jeffrey Silcock and Pastor John Henderson. The latter is the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia, and currently acting president of the Lutheran Church of Australia (he is vice president, but the President is out of the country at the moment). The former is a colleague from my old days on the Lutheran Commission on Worship, and now a lecturer at the Australian Lutheran College (aka The Sem).

Tonight, Cathy has gone with another member of her Lutheran Congregation in to hear Theresa Burke from Rachel's Vineyard on how to assist women with post-abortion grief. Where is this happening? At my work-place, the Cardinal Knox Centre. See how ecumenism works?

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