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Monday, 06 September 2010 15:08

Minutes 7th Forum

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 Download a PDF  of the full Minutes of the 7th Forum of the National Council of Churches in Australia

Numbering of Resolutions has been finalised and is included in the attached PDF of the full 7th Forum Minutes.


 Below are the Resolutions brought to the 7th Forum by the Churches
these resolutions are included in the PDF downloadable above

Priorities
Moved by the Anglican Church
Seconded by the Catholic Church
Supported by the Uniting Church
.......and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

It was resolved that:

this Forum requests the Executive, until the next Forum, to

  1. Give priority in its meetings to matters of
    ....a) Faith and Order / Unity and in particular
    ...........i. developments in national and international dialogues
    ...........ii. obstacles to progress in dialogues and means to overcome them
    ....b) Mission, and in particular
    ...........i. strengthening member churches as they go about mission in Australian society and globally
    ...........ii. facilitating cooperation in mission among the churches
    ....c) Significant public issues and the shape of Australian society in global context, and in particular
    ...........i. Promoting understanding of key issues through research, analysis and study
    ...........ii. Formulating joint statements to convey the views of member churches to the wider community
    ...........iii. Developing shared plans for advocacy and action
    ....d) Indigenous issues and concerns as guided by NATSIEC.
  2. Consider whether, and if so how, changes in NCCA structures, processes and resource allocation might
    better serve these priorities;
  3. Implement pilot changes where appropriate; and
  4. Report to the next Forum with any recommendations

Member Churches
Moved by the Anglican Church
Seconded by the Mar Thoma Church

It was resolved that

the Forum, rejoices as we receive Churches into membership of the NCCA; and

  • recalling that the trust and friendship which mark relationships among the member Churches
    developed through intentional conversations in years gone by; and
  • seeking similar bonds with those Churches which have more recently become members

therefore recommends that the NCCA Executive consider establishing a framework for conversation in
areas such as our various church structures, our worship life and the different gifts we can bring to the
life of the NCCA.

Youth
Moved by the Armenian Apostolic and Coptic Orthodox Churches
Seconded by the Indian Orthodox and Mar Thoma Churches

It was resolved that

  • member Churches be encouraged to include young people in their delegation.
  • future Forums have member Churches nominate two youth members as observers to accompany

the church delegation so to encourage the preservation of the Ecumenical youth footprint.

Moved by the Indian Orthodox and Mar Thoma Churches
Seconded by the Armenian Apostolic and Coptic Orthodox Churches

It was resolved that

future Forums have time allocated for the youth delegates and observers to discuss current issues facing
the youth of churches today.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers
Moved by the Uniting Church
Seconded by the Churches of Christ

It was resolved that

the NCCA, while affirming the Australian Government’s right and responsibility to ensure legitimate border
protection:

  1. Request the major political parties
    ....a) to stop engendering fear and anxiety in the Australian population by using asylum seekers,
    ........vulnerable people fleeing conflict and persecution, for political advantage;
    ....b) to work for a humane, bipartisan approach to this issue that fulfils our international obligations
    ........and enhances Australia’s reputation as a just and humane global citizen; and
    ....c) to meet Australia’s responsibilities by:
    ............i.  treating asylum seekers humanely,
    ............ii. processing asylum applications expeditiously, and
    ............iii.accommodating and processing in Australia asylum seekers who reach Australian territory .
  2. In making this request we remind all political parties
    ....a) that asylum seekers are not illegal immigrants and have rights under international law to seek
    ........protection from persecution; and
    ....b) that Australia has committed, as a signatory to the Refugee Convention, to assess each asylum
    ........seeker case according to agreed criteria
  3. the General Secretary be asked to send this proposal to all Federal Parliamentarians; and to issue a
    media release to this effect.

Finance
Moved by the Roman Catholic Church
Seconded by the Uniting Church

It was resolved that

  1. it be noted that article 22.02 of the Constitution states that “Each member Church shall make
    financial contributions to the NCCA according to guidelines approved by the Executive.”
  2. the Finance Committee be asked to bring appropriate guidelines to the next meeting of the
    Executive for approval.

Rights of Indigenous People
Moved by the Anglican Church
Seconded by the Catholic Church

It was resolved that

  1. the NCCA notes the Australian Government has adopted the United Declaration of the Rights of
    Indigenous Peoples (DRIP).
  2. the Executive Committee be requested to consult with NATSIEC and bring to the next NCCA Forum
    for approval or, if possible introduce beforehand, proposals for an appropriate response to DRIP in
    the day to day work of the NCCA.

Palestine & Israel
Moved by the Uniting Church
Seconded by the Anglican Church

It was resolved that

the 7th National Forum

  1. Reiterates the decisions of the NCCA Executive in March 2008 to “affirm the right of the state of
    Israel to exist, and to exist within secure internationally-recognised borders”2 and to “affirm the right
    of the people of Palestine to be freed from more than 40 years of military occupation by Israel, (and)
    to live within secure internationally-recognised borders”.

  2. ....a) Welcomes the Kairos Palestine document of December 2009 prepared by Palestinian Christians
    ........and supported by the 13 Jerusalem Heads of Churches as the “Christian Palestinians’ word to
    ........the world about what is happening in Palestine”.4
    ....b) Notes that the Kairos Palestine document provides a serious theological reflection on the
    ........situation facing the Palestinian people, and on the basis of that reflection addresses requests to
    ........Christians and churches throughout the world, to the international community, to Jewish and
    ........Muslim religious leaders, and to Palestinians and Israelis; and concludes with a cry of hope,
    ........believing that “God’s goodness will finally triumph over the evil of hate and of death that still
    ........persist in our land”.
  3. In a spirit of repentance for past silence and indifference:
    ....a) adds the voice of the National Council of Churches in Australia to Christian voices throughout
    ........the world calling for an early end to the occupation of Palestine through a freely and peacefully
    ........negotiated solution in accordance with international law and United Nations resolutions; and
    ....b) adds the voice of the National Council of Churches in Australia to Christian voices throughout
    ........the world condemning all acts of terrorism.
  4. In particular the National Council of Churches in Australia:
    ....a) affirms the solidarity of the National Council of Churches in Australia with Palestinian Christians
    ........and assures Palestinians that the National Council of Churches in Australia will continue to
    ........advocate and act for an end to the occupation and for an end to the injustice and suffering borne
    ........by the Palestinian people;
    ....b) in response to the requests in the Kairos document, calls on the member Churches of the
    ........National Council of Churches in Australia and the wider Australian community to consider a
    ........boycott of goods produced by Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories;
    ....c) requests member Churches to advise the NCCA General Secretary of the outcome of their
    ........consideration;
    ....d) requests Act for Peace to provide regular information to the member Churches to assist ongoing
    ........actions on the boycott; and
    ....e) welcomes the easing of the Israeli blockade of Gaza in recent days and calls for an immediate
    ........end to the blockade.
  5. Requests Christians involved in inter-faith conversations among Christians, Jews and/or Muslims to
    include the subject matter of these resolutions in those conversations.
  6. Requests the General Secretary to convey these resolutions to the Prime Minister, the Minister for
    Foreign Affairs, the Leader of the Opposition, the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, all members
    of Federal Parliament, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Australian Federation of
    Islamic Councils and other individuals and groups as the General Secretary and the President so
    decide.
  7. Requests the General Secretary to issue a media release relating to these decisions as soon as
    possible.

 

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