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A Tribute to His Eminence Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus Suffragan Metropolitan, Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church
The ecumenical community is saddened by the news of the sudden passing away of Rt. Rev. Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus, Suffragan Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church on 27 December 2015 at the age of 78.
Bishop Mar Theophilus was an ardent ecumenist and served the ecumenical enterprise in various capacities at different levels. He was a member of the Central and Executive Committees of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 1991 to 2006 and of the General and Executive Committees of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) from 1981 to 1985.
Deirdre Ashe joined the NCCA in December 2015 as Director of Business and Finance. Since 2008 she has been working in Hong Kong but knew it was time to come home to Sydney. The role at the NCCA appealed to her on a number of fronts – Interfaith dialogue is of great interest, believing ‘God has a place for unity’; NATSIEC was an exciting project, and she thought she would like to contribute to Act for Peace.
Having been brought up in the Anglican Church, Deirdre became a member of The Salvation Army by choice. At 15 she was invited to a House Party, and for the first time ‘received’ that Christ had died for her personally. From there she felt called to worship at the local Chester Hill corps (church) and over the years has committed to various ministries including open airs, pub ministry and youth work.
Ecumenical and Interfaith News
In the recent Australia Day 2016 honours many people were recognised for contribution to religious organisations and services. The NCCA congratulates all of them, with special mention of four who have been recognised for their contribution to ecumenism:
The Very Reverend Canon David Leyburn RICHARDSON AO, OBE is an Australian-born Anglican priest, who was dean of St Peter’s Cathedral Adelaide (1988-1999) and St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne (1999-2008) and director of theAnglican Centre in Rome (2009-2013) .
The NCCA is 19 Christian Churches, gathered from across this wide brown land, who have embarked on a pilgrimage together. We each bring a widely varied history of place, experience, and theology, but we share a common faith and confession in the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour. We also share a common future as we are convinced that the future of Christians in Australia lies together, not in separation.