Receptive Ecumenism

SA Council of Churches News

SACC Executive gathered on 30 January 2018 for an extended conversation in on SACC’s Core Purpose & Priorities, and the relationship of Member Churches towards one another through SACC. Some aspects that emerged for action during 2018 included:
i.    Discipleship – what it means for mission, for our lives together;
ii.    An occasion of repentance/forgiveness across the churches for times the behaviour over the centuries has not reflected Gospel values;
iii.    Whose is the voice that is asking the ecumenical question within each tradition? How am I/are we connecting with my/our church?
iv.    Process regarding appointments made by Member Churches to SACC (due mid-year)
In relation to staffing, the Executive Committee, in consultation with Geraldine Hawkes, took the decision in December 2017 to reduce the Ecumenical Facilitator/Executive Officer hours from 37½ to 30 hours a week during 2018 as a way of managing the current available financial resources while continuing to seek an increase in member church contributions. 
During February, the three other committees of SACC will gather to develop further their action which they commenced last year, including ecumenical partnerships in the mission of Christ, receptive ecumenism workshops, local ecumenism, ecumenical learning events & resources. A peace ‘expo’ is to be held on 23 September.  Other gatherings and resources, including with Leaders of Christian Churches SA, continue and details will be shared through e-news.
Your questions, comments and insights welcome! Contact Geraldine Hawkes, Ecumenical Facilitator

Graduation Address: University of Divinity

On Thursday 30 November 2017, 73 students of the University graduated, with 26 receiving their award in person at Immanuel College Chapel, Adelaide. The Graduation Address was given by Geraldine Hawkes, Ecumenical Facilitator of the South Australian Council of Churches. A copy of the address, entitled Gifts of Ecumenism in, with and for our world, focussing on love and humility, is here.

Receptive Ecumenism: Fourth International Conference

Leaning into the Spirit: discernment, decision-making and reception

From 6-9 November 2017 around 145 people gathered in Canberra for the above conference. Twenty two were from South Australia.  This was the first international ecumenical conference since the World Council of Churches General Assembly in Canberra in 1991, and it took place just a week after the commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Each day began with prayer, followed by deep, rich and considered Bible Study, led by the Rev’d Vicky Balabanski. Other highlights were:

•    Paper entitled The Receptive Ecumenical Spirit: the Role of the Virtues in Guiding Receptive Ecumenical Discernment and Decision-Making by Dr Antonia Pizzey, Australian Catholic University.

•    Presentation entitled Discerning the Call of the Spirit to Theological-Ecclesial Renewal: On Being Reasonable and Responsible in the Way of Receptive Ecumenical Learning, by Dr Paul D Murray, Professor of Systematic Theology, Durham University, UK.

•    Workshop entitled Receptive ecumenism in mission: a practical example from Sweden led by Dr Sara Gehlin, Church of Sweden, and a them from the Christian Council of Sweden/Swedish Mission Council.

Geraldine Hawkes, Ecumenical Facilitator, SA Council of Churches

Healing Gifts for Wounded Hands: The promise and potential of Receptive Ecumenism

Resource (updated May 2014)

Receptive Ecumenism Workshops for Inter Church Councils and for Congregations/Parishes

If your Inter Church Council, Parish or Congregation would like to explore the practical application of Receptive Ecumenism, contact Geraldine Hawkes, SA Council of Churches, or phone 8215 0300 to discuss how our team can work with you.

Receiving the Gift of the Other

Worksheet to assist you

The Gift of the Other

The Gift of Each Other: Learning from Other Christians Resource for Parishes

Prospects and Challenges for the Ecumenical Movement in the 21st Century

Insights from the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute

Forming Younger Ecumenical Leadership For The 21st Century
Prospects and Challenges for the Ecumenical Movement in the 21st Century
Insights from the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute [GETI].
Read more here

Exchange of Gifts: Reimagining our Unity in Christ through Receptive Ecumenism

Saturday 8 July 2017, 9.30am-12 noon, St John the Baptist Parish Centre, 342 Anzac Highway, Plympton.
An Ecumenical Learning Event of SA Council of Churches

Receptive Ecumenism: Encounter with Beauty, Truth and Love

Annual Ecumenical Lecture, Receptive Ecumenism: Encounter with Beauty, Truth and Love, presented by Geraldine Hawkes, SA Council of Churches

Receptive Ecumenism: an Examination of Conscience - a reflection

A reflection presented by Very Rev Denis Stanley, Archdiocese of Melbourne

Receptive Ecumenism in International Perspective: Contextual Ecclesial Learning (RE III)

Several Australians, including seven from SA, participated in the Third International Receptive Ecumenism Conference at Fairfield University, Conneticut, USA from 9th -12th June 2014.

Looking, Listening, Learning and Loving

SA Council of Churches hosted a Receptive Ecumenism Lecture/Conference as a follow-up  to RE III on 17 & 18 October 2014.  Contributions were from local and overseas participants from the international conference.  The hope was expressed that people from SA will continue the journey of healing, from within as well as across the churches, so that we might deepen our capacity to gaze lovingly on one another in the same way as God gazes on all of creation.

Further reading about Receptive Ecumenism

Exploring the Promise and Potential of Receptive Ecumenism by Professor Paul Murray 
Receptive Ecumenism - Rev Dr Denis Edwards 
Receptive Ecumenism - A response by Dr Marelle Harisun
Insights, reflections and hopes by Sr Elizabeth Young RSM

Receptive Ecumenism and the Call to Catholic Learning: Exploring a Way for Contemporary Ecumenism: Edited by Paul D Murray, Durham University
Contact Oxford University Press - Australia Customer Service Team:
Ph: 1300 650 616   Fax: 1800 813 602    Email:

Receptive Ecumenism: Governance, Strategy and Finance
Geoff Moore, Professor of Business Ethics at Durham Business School, Team Leader for the Governance and Finance Research Team within the Receptive Ecumenism & the Local Church Regional Project.  See Faith & Leadership

Receptive Ecumenism
For more information about the work of Professor Paul D Murray and the various projects and activities around Receptive Ecumenism.

Have a look at the clip, prepared by Matthew Stuart, Committee for Local Ecumenism.

The Promise and Potential of Receptive Ecumenism

24-28 July 2012 - five-day series of Conversations and Presentations held in 7 different venues across South Australia
Presented by Professor Paul D Murray, Centre for Catholic Studies, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, UK