Core Purpose-Aim-Priorities

2015 Onwards

Introduction

The following description of the direction of SA Council of Churches for 2015 onwards is primarily a re-presentation of SACC Core Purpose and Aim [2007], and the five SACC Priorities [2012]. Some aspects are updated, re-grouped and highlighted, in the light of the many reflections, learnings and the emerging disposition around the ecumenical movement, as shared by many people over the past seven years of the re-configured Council.  The essence remains unaltered: the focus is, hopefully more clearly stated in terms of the churches’ desire for their ecumenical council for the next few years. 

It is hoped that 2015 Onwards for SA Council of Churches will give further inspiration to all involved as we each encounter the ‘now’ and move together towards the ‘not yet’.


2015 Onwards

SA Council of Churches has been in existence for nearly 70 years [24/6/1947] and is formed by the commitment, membership and active participation of several Churches in SA. Over recent years the focus for their ecumenical Council has been as a place of gathering where their understanding, spiritual growth, disposition and practice of ecumenism can be nurtured and nourished, in response to the prayer of Jesus that “they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me”. John 17:21

This nurturing and nourishing occurs especially through the creating of spaces for conversation, learning and exploration on ecumenism so that the churches at all levels [congregations, parishes, agencies, state/diocesan leadership, schools and ecumenical organisations, as well as individuals] may be drawn into deeper expressions of love and more visible expressions of Christian unity from within as well as across their institutions.


Priorities

SACC will encourage, facilitate and nurture the following inter-related areas at all levels of church [congregations, parishes, agencies, state/diocesan leadership, schools and ecumenical organisations]:

1.  Formation and Education for Leadership in Ecumenism in the Spirit of Christ
SACC will encourage, facilitate and nurture the ongoing shaping and development of ecumenical consciousness/disposition and leadership, individually and institutionally.
 
2.  Conversations to advance Christian Unity and to deepen the churches place in culture and society
SACC will encourage, facilitate and nurture various conversations to assist people in churches, individually and institutionally, to explore and discover - through a reading of the signs of the times - opportunities for more visible expressions of Christian unity, from within as well as across the churches in SA.

3.  Receptive Ecumenism
SACC will encourage, promote and facilitate the movement of Receptive Ecumenism, especially institutionally, for the sake of the greater flourishing of the life and mission from within as well as across the churches in SA.

4.  Pastoral Care and Support to Witnesses of Ecumenism 
SACC will encourage, facilitate and nurture a spirit of care, hope and practical support among people involved in the journey towards Christian unity in churches, individually and institutionally, so that the work of the Holy Spirit through Ecumenism - may be a source of inspiration and delight in and for our world.

5. Ecumenical Partnership in the Mission of Christ
SACC will encourage, facilitate and nurture a range of ecumenical partnerships in the mission of Christ to enable people in churches, individually and institutionally, to act as Christians together on education, advocacy and fundraising to help alleviate poverty, oppression and injustice in Australia and overseas.


During 2015-2018, the hope is that SACC – council, committees, project groups, staff - will especially centre on:

A. Drawing together Priorities 1-4 above in a more unified and seamless approach, with a deeper focus on congregations, parishes, agencies, state/diocesan leadership, schools and ecumenical organisations, through opportunities for discernment, conversation, hospitality, learning, prayer, reflection and action.  

B. Continuing to encourage, facilitate and nurture Ecumenical Partnerships [Priority 5] through
i. resourcing individuals, congregations, parishes, agencies, state/diocesan leadership, schools and ecumenical organisations in their relations with other Christian communities in SA;

ii. gathering people when an activity can be best done together through SACC rather than separately or elsewhere.
                


Geraldine Hawkes on behalf of SACC General Council and Committees            April 2015
E: sacc1@picknowl.com.au   Ph: 8215 0300

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him; and he vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’…”        Luke 24: 30-32

For a PDF version of 2015 Onwards please click here.