QCT is a membership organization. This means that all the work undertaken by QCT is done on behalf of its members.
QUEENSLAND CHURCHES TOGETHER: A Potted History 1. The early 20th Century – churches hardly together In the first half of the 20th century, relations between Christian denominations in Queensland were marked by disrespect, suspicion, antipathy, and downright denunciation at worst, and by very occasional co-operation at best. I can vividly recall the songs which we State School kids sang at the Convent kids: "Catholic dogs Sitting on logs Eating toads as if they’re chocolate frogs" And their song in reply: "Catholic, Catholic Ring the bell Protestant, Protestant Go to hell!" We learned the lyrics from our parents. We've come a long, long way since then. QCT: A Potted History 2 Two important signposts along the way were: • The World Council of Churches was inaugurated in 1948, embracing many churches in the Protestant and Orthodox traditions; • Vatican 2 in the 1960s, which confronted Protestant churches with a different attitude from Rome. Pope John XXIII was winning universal respect and affection among us all. In Queensland, ecumenical activity was practised by the Anglican Church as well as ecumenically-minded Protestants in the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches. Nevertheless within each of these three churches there were people who nursed an underlying prejudice against anything that smacked of 'Romish practices' - and for some, that included the Anglican Church! 2. The Queensland Ecumenical Council of Churches (QECC) The emergence of the Queensland Ecumenical Council of Churches (QECC) in the 1960s was, however, a response in Queensland to the ecumenical imperative of the Gospel - particularly with awareness of the prayer of Jesus in John 17. That body had connections to the Australian Council of Churches, which in turn was connected with the World Council of Churches (WCC). QECC included the Anglican, Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, as well as the Society of Friends (Quakers). Some Protestant churches - like the Baptist Church and Churches of Christ in Qld - chose not to belong to the QECC, which was perceived as being too liberal. Attempts to bring these churches into conversations with the QECC failed, and they formed their own coalition with the name Queensland Council of Churches (QCC). At this time, the Roman Catholic Church was not part of any of the ecumenical councils that were associated with the World Council of Churches, the Australian Council of Churches or the Queensland Ecumenical Council. Nor was the Lutheran Church. Yet both the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church had Observer Status in the QECC. Both of these churches have been member churches of Queensland Churches Together since its inauguration (1991, see below). From the 60s onward, the situation in Queensland and elsewhere changed dramatically following the new stance of Roman Catholics after Vatican 2. Shared services and shared witness became increasingly common, and there was some sharing of facilities between Roman Catholics and churches related to the ACC and the WCC. QCT: A Potted History 3 In the 1960s there were the first moves that led in 1977 to the inauguration of the Uniting Church with the merging of the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches (some congregations of the Presbyterian Church chose not to join, as did some Congregationals). 3. The Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) is born The Uniting Church adopted an agreed Basis of Union which commits its members to working for closer relationships and union with other churches in seeking for that unity which is Christ's gift and will for his Church. The UCA became a member of QECC at its foundation. The spirit of the World Council of Churches and its counterparts in Australia was a great encouragement to Australian Protestants involved in the UCA and to the national and state ecumenical bodies. It also encouraged them to seek closer relationships with the Roman Catholic Church at national, state, regional and local levels. 4. Training together for ministry: the Brisbane College of Theology In 1983 the Brisbane College of Theology was formed. Under this arrangement, people preparing for ministry in the Anglican, Uniting and Roman Catholic Churches undertook their theological studies together. This was a significant step in Queensland ecumenism and aroused much interest at national and international levels. This arrangement continues until today. 5. Striving for one ecumenical body Early in 1988 Bishop Jim Cuskelly, on the advice of the Brisbane Archdiocesan Commission for Ecumenism, proposed to a meeting of the Catholic bishops of Queensland that they should look for a way of setting up a single structure in Queensland which would be more representative of the churches than the two existing councils. This proposal was subsequently put to a combined meeting of the Queensland Anglican and Catholic bishops. Both parties supported it. In the same year, QECC invited all the churches in Qld to appoint representatives to a working party which would draft a constitution for a new State Church body which all churches would feel able to join. It was to replace QECC and perhaps also QCC. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese and Lutheran District of Queensland appointed representatives to the working party. Some more cautious member churches of QCC did not participate. QCT: A Potted History 4 The working party worked through 1989 and into 1990 to design a structure which would be acceptable to as many churches as possible. The drafters hoped that the Baptist Union, the Churches of Christ and the Presbyterians might eventually participate. That has not yet happened, but various links with them remain. During this time your Commission for Ecumenism of the Catholic Church, through its many contacts in the parishes and by means of its newsletter, was keeping the people of the Archdiocese aware of what was happening. In May 1991 each participating church sent a delegation of four to a consultation which was to formally respond to the draft constitution. The delegation from the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane was: Bishop James Cuskelly, Mrs Elizabeth Harrington, Father Michael Putney, who was Chair of the Commission for Ecumenism and Vice Rector of Pius XII Seminary, and Brother Eric Blumenthal FMS, Executive Officer of the Commission for Ecumenism. Bishop Cuskelly was also representing the other four Catholic Dioceses of Queensland. The consultation met over three days and recommended to their respective churches that they accept the constitutions. It was proposed that the new structure be called Queensland Churches Together, and a date was set as the date for the inauguration of the new body: 1 December, 1991. The name was chosen because it has a more dynamic ring to it than one which spoke of a 'Council of Churches' - and probably because the word 'council' evoked memories of past difficulties and conflicts. 6. Queensland Churches Together (QCT) On 1st December 1991, the inauguration of the new body was held in the chapel of St Peter's Lutheran College with a very encouraging attendance. It was an inspiring service built around the theme of light and water. Each participating church had prepared a banner which was carried in procession into the Chapel and tied symbolically to a large paschal candle. Catholic Archbishop Francis Rush gave the homily, in which he focused on Christian unity and the work of Queensland Churches Together, referring to it as a "long and costly endeavour...The reconciliation that we aim at, like our Lord's redemptive work, can be achieved only through suffering and the cross. "Our journey to glory, like that of Jesus Himself, can only be through Calvary." The heads of churches were all represented in the service and washed each other's feet in an act symbolising service to each other. QCT: A Potted History 5 7. Regional ecumenism: Rockhampton Churches Together On Wednesday, 11 December 1991, a service to celebrate the inauguration of QCT was also held in Rockhampton. St Paul's Anglican Cathedral was packed. Leaders and worshippers from the Anglican, Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Uniting Churches throughout the city affirmed their support for this new and exciting step towards ecumenism. In his address to us, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Rockhampton, the Rt Revd Brian Heenan, emphasised our oneness in Christ, that we are truly brothers and sisters no matter what denomination we may belong to. He prayed that the churches would foster Christian unity through prayer, worship, dialogue and direct action. Soon after, Rockhampton Churches Together was born. It continues to be represented personally at QCT meetings by Dorothy Demack. The leaders of the participating church continued - and still continue - to meet together regularly, as do their counterparts in Brisbane (Heads of Churches meetings, held bi-monthly). 8. The Members of QCT The churches which originally formed QCT were: The Anglican Church of Australia The Antiochian Orthodox Church The Armenian Apostolic Church The Greek Orthodox Church The Indian Orthodox Church The Lutheran Church of Australia The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) The Roman Catholic Church, The Romanian Orthodox Church and The Uniting Church in Australia. The Queensland Congregational Fellowship joined in 1993. The Salvation Army and the Churches of Christ participated as Observers. While the Churches of Christ have since ceased to participate in the life of QCT, the Salvation Army became a member in 2004. QCT: A Potted History 6 QCT’s newest member is the Coptic Orthodox Church, which has only recently joined us (2007). This brings the number of members to twelve. 9. The first staff and office-bearers of QCT On Sunday 31 May 1992, a service of worship for the commissioning of Revd Helen Mills as QCT General Secretary was held at Seton College Chapel, Mt Gravatt. Helen held this post for five years before leaving to take up an ecumenical parish in England. The next General Secretary, Revd Russell Morris, was inducted into the position at an ecumenical worship service at Toowong Uniting Church on Saturday 8 March 1997. Russell left QCT in March, 2004. I myself (Revd Don Whebell) served as Acting General Secretary. On October 3, 2011, the current General Secretary, The Revd Canon Richard Tutin,commenced work with QCT and was was inducted into the position at a service in the chapel of St Francis College, Milton, on 8 November of that year. Following Bishop James Cuskelly's term of office as inaugural President of QCT, this role has in turn been held by: Revd Professor Han Spykerboer, (Uniting Church) Pastor John Vitale, (Lutheran) Archbishop Peter Hollingworth, (Anglican) Revd Dr David Pitman, (Uniting Church) Bishop Michael Putney, (Roman Catholic) Bishop Ron Williams (Anglican) Pastor Tim Jaensch, (Lutheran) Revd Dr Ray Reddicliffe (Uniting Church) Bishop Brian Finnigan (Roman Catholic) Bishop Richard Appleby (Anglican) Pastor Tim Jaensch (Lutheran) Lt Colonel Ed Dawkins (Salvation Army) and the current President, Revd Dr David Pitman (Uniting Church). 10. The development of QCT's work Several commissions and sub-committees were soon established to carry out the work of QCT: the Faith and Order Commission, the Churches' Education Committee, QCT: A Potted History 7 the Ecumenical Hospital Chaplaincy Advisory Committee, and the Ecumenical Refugee Support Committee. QCT is the host for an ecumenical ministry helping to build bridges between Indigenous people and other Australians through awareness-raising and advocacy: the Churches Together Indigenous People’s Partnership (CTIPP). This important ministry began in Han Spykerboer’s time as President – and has been one of the most significant parts of the work of QCT. It is supported mainly by the Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Churches. CTIPP is directed primarily to non-indigenous people in our churches. It complements – never competes with – the ministries of the denominational churches among Indigenous people. CTIPP is ecumenical – and that is unique. The growth and broadening of the scope of the work of Queensland Churches Together over the past ten years is seen in the number of committees and other groups which now come under its auspices, namely: the Faith and Unity Commission; the Commission for Churches Together Indigenous People’s Partnership (CTIPP Committee); the Joint Churches Domestic Violence Prevention Program. In recent years interfaith dialogue has become increasingly important to QCT. Here are just some of the key aspects of this work: - QCT sends an ecumenical delegation to the Queensland Forum for Christians, Jews and Muslims, which was founded in 2004. Its other members are appointed by the Islamic Council of Queensland and the Jewish Board of Deputies. - QCT works closely with the Multifaith Centre at Griffith University. - From time to time representatives of QCT are asked to take part in multi-faith initiatives hosted by Queensland Government. QCT: A Potted History 8 A number of local interchurch councils have become Members in Association of Queensland Churches Together. These usually go under the name of 'Churches Together in…' Hence we have: Churches Together in Rockhampton, Churches Together in Woodgate, Churches Together in Bundaberg, Churches Together in Caloundra, Churches Together in the Border Region Etc. QCT relates to other local ecumenical groups, some of them with a long history, which are not formally associated with QCT. These include, for example, the Stanley River Ecumenical Pastoral Council, the Council of Christian Churches in Mount Isa, the Mackay and District Interchurch Council and the Western Suburbs Interchurch Council. In addition links are maintained with ecumenical schools such as Jubilee School on the Gold Coast. I happily leave the last word to Elizabeth Harrington: "A special feature of Queensland Churches Together is the variety of denominations involved, from the Society of Friends (Quakers) to Roman Catholics, with their widely disparate styles of worship, church structure and understanding of authority. … these differences are riches to be shared, not issues to be used to maintain divisions. The different gifts and traditions we bring when we come together enrich us all. Christian unity is not about obliterating our differences and creating one super church. It is about understanding and accepting our different ways of being church and working together with strength as we share our gifts." * * * *
QCT is a membership organization. This means that all the work undertaken by QCT is done on behalf of its members. In order to reach consensus about what they want, the members meet regularly, represented in each case by delegates of their choice. This takes place in monthly Executive meetings and twice a year in so-called General Meetings. Each of these meetings is a rich exercise in ecumenical dialogue. QCT's structure, in other words, creates many spaces for dialogue between its various members. Each year QCT elects a new president. The President is a member of QCT's Executive Committee. The annual change of presidents ensures that all active members of QCT are able to fill this leadership role at some time. Our current president is Rev Stephen Nuske. The staff facilitate joint action of the members of QCT in various fields, in consultation with the governing bodies and commissions.
Mission: QCT aims to encourage and enable Members to: (a) pray together and share their faith, and to find ways to worship together, while respecting each Church's disciplines, doctrines and traditions; (b) foster Christian unity through dialogue; (c) develop a deeper understanding of evangelism/evangelisation in Australia's cultural context; (d) give prophetic leadership to each other and the community by: i) speaking out on behalf of oppressed people; ii) promoting reconciliation and healing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; iii) responding to human need and acting on issues of justice, peace and creation; (e) dialogue with people of other faiths and ideologies in order to further mutual understanding and strive jointly for peace.
LInk to watch the Ecumenical Service for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity streamed from St Patrick's Cathedral Toowoomba: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq1QtsVsAPo
Download booklet for today's servicehttps://www.stpats.org.au/uploads/1/2/2/7/122702580/week_of_prayer_christian_unity_2020_booklet.pdf Attribution for phot...
LInk to watch the Ecumenical Service for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which too place at the Cathedral of St Stephen on 27th May: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW3olbwnp-Q&feature=youtu.be
20 05 27 May 27, 2020 7 00pm Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Ecumenical Prayer Service
From the Catholic Leader...
For live streaming at 7pm on Wednesday 27th May, or to view after go to https://brisbanecatholic.org.au/multimedia/on-demand-web-casts/
Laudato si week, acknowledging five years since the launch of Laudato si runs from Sat 16th May -Sunday 24th May
vaticannews.va In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity calls for a day of “prayer and supplication” to God for an end to the ...
oikoumene.org The world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter on 19 April, carrying forth time-honored traditions even in difficult times.
World Council of Churches (WCC) ambassadors of the Thursdays in Black campaign have issued a joint statement that urges both awareness and protection from th...
oikoumene.org The webinar on Churches’ ministry online on April 29 will bring inspiration and knowledge to churches who want to develop their online ministry, discovering how we continue to pray and worship together in times of pandemic.
oikoumene.org Hope, solidarity and a spirit of service are recurring themes in Easter messages received by the World Council of Churches from many of its member churches and partners.
Another prayer from the World Council of Churches for the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis.
Message from the QLD State Govt...
Good morning/afternoon valued religious stakeholders,
You do so much to support your community and Queensland during this trying time. We hope we can also support you.
As part of this, we want to make sure that you are taking the following simple actions to help protect people and curb the spread of COVID-19 as you celebrate your faith and connect within your communities.
We have listed a few of these below and will continue to update you with news and developments as they arise. Please know that you are in our thoughts and please continue to look after yourself and your loved ones.
Easter break and religious services
• Places of worship will be considered places of work so that services can be live streamed to the community. This will ensure that religious services, including Passover and Easter services, remain accessible to congregations.
• Places of worship are not open.
• People should not travel over the Easter break; they should stay at home.
Please view the Prime Minister’s Media Statement for more information on religious services https://www.pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures-030420
Please note: The Queensland Health website is still the primary source of latest official information on COVID 19 and the Queensland response.
pm.gov.au Australian governments met today as the National Cabinet to take further action to slow the spread of coronavirus to save lives, and to save livelihoods. We will be living with this virus for at least six months, so social distancing measures to slow the spread of this virus must be sustainable for....
This idea and invitation is being circulated through various communities via Facebook.
This Sunday 5 April 2020 is Palm Sunday for many churches. Since places of worship are closed you are invited to join in on something a bit different. If you have access to palm tree (or any green branch), cut a frond or branch and tie it to your fence or front door and leave it there for Holy Week so that, despite the social distancing, we can be connected as we enter into this Holiest of Weeks.We may be physically isolated, but not separated. We are united as the body of Christ. Let’s proclaim Hosanna in the highest loud and strong.
We thank those who have developed and distributed this very worthwhile concept.
Here is a prayer from the World Council of Churches.
Capricorn Coast Catholic Parish
Letter from the NCCA...
Climate change, the rights of asylum seekers and indigenous issues were amongst human rights concerns raised during a 2-day workshop organised by the WCC Commission of Churches on International Affairs and the National Council of Churches of Australia in Brisbane on 24-25 February. The workshop, which included representatives from the Uniting Church, Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane, The Salvation Army, Sisters of Saint Joseph, Queensland Churches Together and the Anglican Board of Mission, took place in the context of the upcoming Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Australia by the United Nations Human Rights Council later this year.
Learn more: https://www.oikoumene.org/…/workshop-addresses-human-rights…
Suggestion for Lent from the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (Archdiocese of Brisbane)...
oikoumene.org Speaking in Bergen, Norway at an international conference on Sustainability and Climate in Re-ligion organized by the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, The Church of Norway and The Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities in Norway, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secre...
From the Catholic Leader, Peter Arndt, one of our valued members of QCEN
From Uniting News....
As you may be aware, Rev'd Canon Richard Tutin's last day working at QCT will be 22nd May. QCT Executive are in the the process of finding a new General Secretary. Contact [email protected] for a position description (or go to www.qct.org.au/images/documents/gensecpd.pdf
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!
Members of the JCDVPP joined others at Southbank on Friday for the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women 2019
Good News! The Bishop Michael Putney Memorial Lecture (Tuesday 26 Nov 7pm) will be live streamed. To access use this link:
livestream.com Watch G G Services's Michael Putney Memorial Lecture 2019 on Livestream.com. Receptive Ecumenism: Living The Undivided Life. A lecture by Geraldine Hawkes.
[11/14/19] We, at Queensland Churches Together, assure all communities of our thoughts and prayers during this time of catastrophic bushfires and very poor air quality.
oikoumene.org The Roman Catholic Church has presented a formal response to “The Church: Towards a Common Vision,” the fruit of three decades of international ecumenical conversation about what it means to be the church.
Official page of Community of the Risen Lord Brisbane
Spirit in the City is an annual one-day conference held on a Saturday in October at QUT Gardens Point Campus and organised by QUT Catholics
The Brisbane Oratory in Formation, established on 26 May 2015 by decree of Archbishop Coleridge, will be Australia's first Congregation of the Oratory.
OUR VISION Building communities of Young Adults who will lead in life through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:16 – 21 “For we are Christ’s representatives.” OUR MISSION “To inspire young adults to Build on Christ, Grow in purpose and Lead through li
Information-sharing and networking among multicultural and ethno-specific communities in the Archdiocese of Brisbane. Code of Conduct: archbne.org/kmz
#StStephensYAM welcomes diverse young adults to share faith, fun and friendship through Prayer, Formation, Fellowship and Charitable Works.
Connecting high schoolers and young adults with Catholic youth initiatives in the Archdiocese of Brisbane.