• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image

Message from the General Secretary

Sr Elizabeth Delaney sgs

Dear friends

As we approach the amazing feast of Christ's birth, I join with you in celebrating the most amazing mystery of God's taking on our humanity, entering into our world, being one with us. May we always continue to grow in wonder and appreciation of God's great act of love.

There is so much for which to be grateful during this past year. Last week I was able to join the Antiochian Church for the Enthronement of Metropolitan Basilios by Patriarch John X. We pray with and for Metropolitan Basilios as he accepts responsibility for the Antiochian Church in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

2017 marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Lutherans and Catholics came together on many occasions to commemorate this event. The churches came with sorrow for all that has divided, with gratitude for the significant steps that have been taken to grow in understanding of each other and with hope for the way forward as we continue to seek unity. The Anglican Consultative Council’s affirmation of the Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification by the Anglican Communion gave an extra cause for joy.

Another cause for joy is the signing of the Common Statement on Sacramental Life, a joint declaration of the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East on 24 November 2017.

Also just last week, we held the 50th conversation of the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews. Over the years we have come to know and appreciate the three faiths. Importantly, beginning with respectful meetings, these conversations have led to real friendships.

As I look back on the year, I also look back on my three years as General Secretary of National Council of Churches in Australia. I look back with a great deal of gratitude for this role has provided me to meet and work with wonderful people who have been living witnesses to their faith and their willingness to hear Jesus' pray for unity. I am most grateful for members of the Executive/Assembly, Commissions and networks, Glenburnie committee and RWELF committee, all of whom have given generously of their time and expertise to ensure that the work of NCCA continues. I am also appreciative of the Directors of NCCA Ltd who have accepted the challenge of the governance of NCCA. There are many who have been part of NCCA in previous years. I have been conscious that they have laid firm foundations on which we have had the privilege of building. I am most grateful for the firm foundations.

Finally, I wish to express my appreciation of the staff of NCCA and Act for Peace. Yesterday, I told them that I think that I am a better person for having worked with them and being inspired by their commitment and example. From time to time someone tells me that they have read the NCCA newsletter and they tell me of their ecumenical involvement. These kinds of conversations give me great cause for joy. May we continue to do all that we can to make that our churches share more visible.

Let us continue to pray with and for each other. 

Sr Elizabeth Delaney sgs

General Secretary