Ecumenical Discussion Group - submitted Rev Rosemary Dunn
The Ecumenical Discussion group meets at the House of Prayer on the fourth Monday of the month at 6 pm. The present group has evolved from earlier discussion groups which looked at the various documents put out by the Churches on ecumenical relationships. For many years various Catholics, Anglicans, Uniting Church and Lutherans have gathered to explore what it means to be a Christian.
The present group now has a different format. We no longer discuss the official documents, but go straight to the heart of ecumenism: reading and unpacking Scripture together and praying together. Townsville has a long history of excellent ecumenical relationships; notably seen in the cross Church co-operation for Stable on the Strand, the Townsville Street Chaplaincy and the weekly Pastor's prayer breakfasts.
Townsville Christians already work together, and so this is a forum where we can pray and study together in a non-judgmental and inclusive environment. Differing church practices and traditions are minor factors when we hear how each responds to the living Word in daily life. A mature Christianity can only thrive where diversity and difference is acknowledged without fear. God is infinite and works through so many different ways; we grow in knowledge of Him and ourselves when seeing His fruit in others. The surprising thing, however, is not that we find differences, but rather we find how much we have in common!
All denominations are welcome- and those of different faiths and none.
It is a warm and often humorous hour when the Spirit is free to do what the Spirit does best: bring people together.