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NCCA October Assembly

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Moral Discernment in the Churches - NCCA Assembly

Participants at the NCCA member Assembly on Thursday 31 October welcomed the opportunity to reflect on how our churches engage in moral discernment. In particular, when they make decisions about moral matters that are part of public discussion.

The highly successful meeting was facilitated by the NCCA Faith and Unity Commission led by Rev Dr Gerard Kelly from the Catholic Church and Rev Dr Morag Logan from the Uniting Church in Australia. It proved to be a wonderful time of ecumenical sharing. Opportunities to discuss our varying positions on such topics in common fellowship are rare. The eight different member churches represented included: Anglican Church of Australia, Greek Orthodox Church, Uniting Church in Australia, The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Roman Catholic Church, The Salvation Army, The Churches of Christ and Coptic Orthodox Church.

The day was divided into three sessions:

  1. Introduction to  the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission Study Document, Moral Discernment in the Churches - Faith and Order Paper No. 215 Copyright © 2013 WCC Publications.
  2. Sampling the responses from four Australian churches to this document. Presentations were given by:
    1. Rev Dr Morag Logan - Uniting Church in Australia
    2. Rev Dr Gerard Kelly - Catholic Church 
    3. Major Clayton Spence - The Salvation Army
    4. Dr Philip Kariatlis - The Greek Orthodox Church

In the afternoon, participants broke into smaller groups to discuss the following:

a) their experience of how their church makes decisions in the public forum;
b) their experience of how members of their church are assisted in their own moral decision making;
c) what can our churches learn from each other about moral discernment?


Bishop Philip Huggins, NCCA President thanked both Rev Dr Gerard and Dr Morag for their careful preparations and leadership. Saying,

"You led a very important and uplifting Assembly so well. Here you are, graciously attentive and reflective.

Everyone in attendance felt a little more illumination. I personally was not aware how much I needed such a day on Discernment until your shared leadership took us forward! 

You are both such a blessing to our NCCA."



Above: L-R  Dr Philip Kariatlis, Rev Dr Gerard Kelly,

Rev Dr Morag Logan and Major Clayton Spence.

  Above: participants at the NCCA Assembly

All church representatives that participated

in discussions on Moral Discernment

V Rev Fr Kyrillos Zisis gives an impromptu

Greek lesson

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