Ecumenical Developments In Australia

Ecumenical Developments In Australia

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Account for TWO ecumenical development in Australian Christianity since World War II.
Ecumenism, in the sense of Australian Christianity, is the religious initiative towards unity within the Christian church. It is the promotion of co-operation and improved understanding between distinct religious groups or denominations within Christianity and other religions.

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN AUSTRALIA (NCCA)
The NCCA is an example of an ecumenical movement – it brings together a number of Australia's Christian churches in dialogue and practical support. It was also the first recognized coalition between the Catholic Church and other leading Christian faiths.

Out of the desolation of World War II sprang the Australian Committee for the World Council of Churches. This developed into the Australian Council of Churches which, in 1994, grew to be the National Council of Churches in Australia. The NCCA is 15 Christian churches, gathered from across Australia, who have embarked on a pilgrimage together . Each brings a widely diverse record of place, experience, and theology, but all share a mutual faith and confession in the Jesus Christ as God and Savior. All share a common future as they are confident that the future of Christians in Australia lies together, not in division. The aim of the NCCA is to deepen the relationship of member churches so as to communicate more visibly the unity willed by Christ and to rally towards the achievement of their mission of common witness, proclamation and service .

On behalf of 85% of the country's Christians, it could prove to be the country's most influential lobby group. The council has made proposals to governments on behalf of member churches. It has lobbied governments about the dole, the GST on food and boosting the Aboriginal health budget. It has intensely spoken out against the Australian government's policy of detaining refugees and has requested for children to be freed from detention camps.

Over the years since the Council's founding, it has partaken in many charity and aid projects. The NCCA rallied to the aid of East Timor after the Indonesian army and local militia slaughtered large numbers of the population and ruined much of the country. During the civil war in Ambon, Indonesia, the Muslim Council of Australia and the NCCA held a united Prayers for Peace rally. The combined Prayers for Peace rally is an example of inter-faith dialogue.

The NCCA has been a significant ecumenical movement in Australian Christianity since WWII, through its federation of all the major Christian churches in Australia and its faithful commitment towards the unity of the Christian church.

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Such an ecumenical council is needed for the unity of a once divided religion, and as the influential voice of the Church in political matters.

SYDNEY COLLEGE OF DIVINITY (SCD)
The SCD is a national ecumenical alliance of Christian theological colleges operating together to offer the highest achievable standard of education in theology, ministry, arts, and associated disciplines; while being both diverse in its theological traditions and inclusive in its operation.

Formed in 1983, the Sydney College of Divinity started as an association of theological colleges in Sydney. Additional growth has seen the College reach outside the Sydney basin to provide theological education across Australia, in New Zealand, and across the world. They are a community of learners, teachers and researchers .

The SCD's member institutes present courses in step with their church traditions and culture, while all work as one to guarantee the academic integrity of the degree programs. The founding Member Institutions were dedicated to an authentically ecumenical undertaking, in which, while maintaining their independence and ecclesial traditions, they would work together, and support each other, as a College.
The College seeks to:
• provide first-rate, accredited education in theology and the humanities from undergraduate to graduate levels
• train leaders and ministers, who are fit to develop the church of the future
• support research and scholarship in theology and the humanities which is ecumenically responsive and appropriate to matters of culture and society in Australia and Oceania
• contribute to the public discussion of questions of faith and culture in Australia and beyond
• provide teachers with the chance to expand their professional abilities, backed by a community of Christian scholars
• prepare the next generation of Christian teachers and scholars
The ecumenical efforts of the SCD through its federation of Christian colleges make it a very important ecumenical development in Australian Christianity.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
• Class notes
• Class sheets
• Ecumenical developments, immigration, Pentecostalism & charismatic movement. Available: http://boredofstudies.org/.
• Ecumenism, immigration, Pentecostalism, charismatic movement. Available: http://www.boredofstudies.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page.
• National Council of Churches in Australia. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Council_of_Churches_in_Australia
• Sydney College of Divinity. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_College_of_Divinity.
• Pentecostalism. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentecostal.
• Charismatic Movement. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_movement.
• National Council of Churches in Australia. Available: http://www.ncca.org.au/.
• Sydney College of Divinity. Available: http://www.scd.edu.au/.
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