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National Council of Churches in Australia meets on the Sunshine Coast

“Life Together” is the theme for the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) 6th National Forum to be held at the Uniting Church’s Alexandra Park Conference on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Centre from 13-17 July.

Life Together is the title of a book by the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. More than 60 years after his martyrdom at the hands of the Gestapo in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer continues his witness in the hearts of Christians around the world. Life Together is practical advice on living together in Christ through the story of a unique fellowship in an underground seminary.

The NCCA National Forum is a gathering of around 110 people consisting of national leaders and representatives from 15 member Churches, and observers from several others.

It is the highest meeting of the Council at which it sets its objectives for the next three years.

“This Forum is a chance for Churches to grow in understanding each other and working together in our Australian society,” said the Revd John Henderson, NCCA General Secretary.

“The message of Christian unity is a simple one, but centuries of historical, geographical, and theological separation have divided us, sometimes in very profound ways. Today God is giving us a chance to change things. We can share God’s message of love, peace, and justice with each other, and the world,” said Mr Henderson.

Two sessions on Monday, 16 July be open to the public.

At 3:00 pm Sylvia Haddad, Executive Secretary of the Joint Christian Committee (JCC) in Lebanon, will address the Forum. The JCC is one of the five regional committees of the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches.

At 7:30 pm, Monsignor Don Bolen from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, based at the Vatican, will address the Forum. He will share his experience of Catholic involvement in a wide variety of ecumenical dialogues.