Ecumenical gathering seeks to build bridges

The National Council of Churches Australia has organised the meeting of Christian women  (NCCA)

“Truth, Unity and Reconciliation” is the theme for a national meeting of Sudanese and South Sudanese Christian women leaders in Canberra this week. Source: ACBC Media Blog.

The March 29-30 consultation process has been organised by the National Council of Churches Australia (NCCA) with 20 women selected from various faiths including Catholic, Uniting, Salvation Army, Lutheran, Anglican and Baptist churches.

Two women will represent the Catholic Sudanese and South Sudanese communities of Australia: Mary Kenyi from Brisbane and Sydney’s Anna Dimo.

Elizabeth Stone, interim general secretary of the NCCA, said the consultation would be a unique opportunity for Sudanese and South Sudanese women to meet together and share their stories, experiences, challenges and hopes from their contexts of living in Australia.

“The aim of the meeting will be to develop connections and relationships across tribal and denominational loyalties across the country,” she said.

“At the previous leaders’ consultation (in May 2018), there were only four women present out of 28, and one of the recommendations was ‘that women need to be given their own space in the mediation process’.”

Those women present last year have been instrumental in identifying women leaders from across the churches of Australia to be present and will lead this year’s consultation.

Bishop Michael McKenna, chair of the Bishops Commission for Christian Unity and Inter-religious Dialogue, welcomed the NCCA initiative and is grateful for the participation of Catholic representatives.

From his days as a priest in Fitzroy, Bishop McKenna came to know the South Sudanese people especially and learnt not only of their challenges, but also of the richness of faith that they bring to the Church and community in Australia.

Ms Kenyi, from the Brisbane Archdiocese, said she felt honoured to have been chosen to take part in the consultation process.

“(At the conference) I will talk about my involvement in the Church and how the churches can work together to bring peace and harmony among the cultural groups and the wider community.”


Ecumenical gathering seeks to build bridges, connections (ACBC Media Blog)

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