The Uniting Church and Ecumenism: a paper written by Don Whebell for the Queensland Churches Together website. The version printed here is used in the Trinity Theological College Brisbane’s course on the Unting Church’s Basis of Union, which Don teaches.   Download file


 Revd Dr Gerard Kelly was Keynote Speaker at the 2010 Forum of the National Council of Churches in Australia. He is ordained for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, and is a member of the Faith and Unity Commission and is the President of the Catholic Institute of Sydney.

His theme was A New Ecumenical Wave – and explores ‘receptive ecumenism’. We place his paper here with his kind permission Here is his opening statement:

“This evening I want to speak about receptive ecumenism. It is an area of ecumenical engagement that has received a lot of attention in the last couple of years and has brought with it a lot of energy. You may have already heard talk of “receptive ecumenism” and wondered what it is all about. At the same time, instinctively you probably already know something of it, as reception has been part of the ecumenical vocabulary for many years, especially since the publication of Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry in 1982. So we are really dealing with something that is old, but also something that is new. The best way I can describe it is to say that it represents a new wave in the ecumenical movement….”   Read on…..


In 2008, Cardinal Walter Kaspar drew attention at the beginning of his address to the obvious truth that we are in a very different situation at the beginning of the twenty-first century than we were at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is too easy for us to forget this and not to appreciate the enormous fruitfulness of the ecumenical movement. Bishop Michael Putney explores the Contemporary situation. Read on….

Cardinal Kasper, ‘The Current Ecumenical Transition’, Origins 36:26 (Dec 7, 2006) 402.


Townsville’s Roman Catholic Bishop Michael Putney reflects on the challenge of ecumenism in our time: Called to Common Witness Download file


The Ecumenical Question – towards an ecumenical culture On June 16 2009, the Synod Ecumenical Relationships Committee met with Presbytery Ministers and other leaders of the Queensland Synod to discuss the Resolution of the 2008 Synod to give priority to the Ecumenical Question in the life and mission of the Church. Information about The Ecumenical Question is also in the Documents Page of this website. The Meeting reflected on the WCC Statement Called to be the One Church [also in the Documents Page], to share stories of ecumenical co-operation in Queensland and to look at some ecumenical resources for congregations.The Meeting was led by the Moderator, Revd Bruce Johnson. Here is his Introduction to the gathering:  Read here


The Nature and Mission of the Church: World Council of Churches, Faith and Order Paper 198 – 2009. Download file

The Nature and Mission of the Church:  Response by Uniting Church in Australia  Download file 


An Ordered Ministry for an Apostolic Church – Professor Christiaan Mostert  The paper raises quite directly questions about some of our UCA practices related to ordained ministry, particularly the way in which we exercise the ministry of oversight (episcope) through our Presbyteries. This is a paper of importance for the whole church and should be mandatory reading for all congregations and Presbyteries. Download file


‘The Ecumenical Question’ – outline Download file 

‘The Ecumenical Question’ – Process for Discussion Download file 


 Called to be a Community of Difference Statement by the UCA Assembly 
Most Christians acknowledge that our behaviour is shaped by, among other things, our membership in the Christian Church. How specifically, however, are we shaped in our life together as members of the Uniting Church in Australia at those times when we face fundamental difference about doctrine and practice? Is there a specifically Christian way of being ‘together in difference’, which flows from our membership of a Church, which “lives and works within the faith and unity of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”? We believe there is, and we would like to describe this way in the following Charter for the Uniting Church in Australia. Revd Bob Harriman has written two adaptations of this document to apply it to Ecumenical and Interfaith Relationships  Download file