National Council of Churches in Australia

National Council of Churches in Australia

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The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) is an ecumenical organisation bringing together a number of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

's Christian Churches in dialogue and practical cooperation.

It works in collaboration with state ecumenical councils around Australia. It is an associate council of the World Council of Churches
World Council of Churches
The World Council of Churches is a worldwide fellowship of 349 global, regional and sub-regional, national and local churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service. It is a Christian ecumenical organization that is based in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland...

, a member of the Christian Conference of Asia
Christian Conference of Asia
The Christian Conference of Asia is a regional ecumenical organisation representing 17 National Councils and 100 denominations in 21 countries:- Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan,...

 and a partner of other national ecumenical bodies throughout the world. Act for Peace is the international aid agency of the NCCA, which aims to empower war-torn communities to protect refugees, reduce poverty, prevent conflicts and manage disasters.

Background


The modern ecumenical movement began to take shape at the end of the 19th century. Initiatives among students and between church mission agencies led the way. In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, these included the Australian Student Christian Movement, formed in 1896, and the National Missionary Council, created in 1926.

Organised ecumenism in Australia at the national Church level was first formalised through the Australian Committee for the World Council of Churches (1946). Initially, this movement involved only the Anglican
Anglican Church of Australia
The Anglican Church of Australia is a member church of the Anglican Communion. It was previously officially known as the Church of England in Australia and Tasmania...

 and Mainline Protestant churches. In the 1960s and 70s, however, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches joined the ecumenical movement. This developed into the Australian Council of Churches (ACC). Following the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

, the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 in Australia began exploring possibilities for relationships with other churches. In 1994 the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) succeeded the ACC, with the Catholic Church as a member.

Logo


The symbol of the boat has long been used to represent the ecumenical movement, and its origins are unclear - perhaps in the Gospel story of the calling of the Galilean fishermen to be disciples - "fishers of men". The boat represents the Church as a ship sailing the sea that is the world. The mast, in the shape of the cross, recalls the Christian faith.

The NCCA's version of the boat includes waves and the Southern Cross and was adopted at the formation of the NCCA in 1994. The use of the Southern Cross identifies the NCCA's geographical location.

An updated version of the logo, pictured above, was adopted in 2006.

Member Churches


The NCCA has nineteen member Churches.
Member Church Head of Church
Anglican Church of Australia
Anglican Church of Australia
The Anglican Church of Australia is a member church of the Anglican Communion. It was previously officially known as the Church of England in Australia and Tasmania...

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall
Phillip Aspinall
Phillip Aspinall has been the Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia since February 2002 and Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia since July 2005. He succeeded Peter Hollingworth as Archbishop of Brisbane....

Antiochian Orthodox Church
Antiochian Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, also known as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East and the Antiochian Orthodox Church , is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

Archbishop Paul Saliba
Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

Archbishop Aghan Baliozian
Assyrian Church of the East
Assyrian Church of the East
The Assyrian Church of the East, officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ʻIttā Qaddishtā w-Shlikhāitā Qattoliqi d-Madnĕkhā d-Āturāyē), is a Syriac Church historically centered in Mesopotamia. It is one of the churches that claim continuity with the historical...

Archbishop Metropolitan Mar Meelis Zaia
Mar Meelis Zaia
Mar Meelis Zaia , is the Assyrian Church of the East's Metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand. He was ordained a priest of the Church in 1982 in California. He is an ethnic Assyrian...

Chinese Methodist Church in Australia
Chinese Methodist Church in Australia
The Chinese Methodist Church in Australia is based in Melbourne, Australia. The current head is Bishop Albert Chiew. On the 25th of November 2010, Rev James Kwang has been elected as the new bishop of new term.-External links:* - official website* * * * * *...

Bishop Dr James Kwang
Churches of Christ in Australia
Churches of Christ in Australia
The Churches of Christ in Australia is a Christian movement in Australia. It is part of the Restoration Movement with historical influences from the United States of America and the United Kingdom....

Craig Brown
Congregational Federation of Australia
Congregational Federation of Australia
The Congregational Federation of Australia is Congregational denomination comprising fourteen congregations in New South Wales and Queensland. It has sixteen ordained ministers and some two thousand members and adherents, many of them Samoans.-History:...

Allan Filipaina
Coptic Orthodox Church Bishop Suriel - Bishop of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions & Bishop Daniel - Bishop of Sydney and Affiliated Regions
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is the Australian archdiocese of the Greek Orthodox Church, part of the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is a jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.- Archbishop of Australia...

Archbishop Stylianos
Archbishop Stylianos
Stylianos Harkianakis is the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia, and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. He serves as inaugural and permanent Chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches in Australia and Dean of Saint Andrew's Greek Orthodox...

Indian Orthodox Church
Indian Orthodox Church
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, also known as the Indian Orthodox Church, is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church centred in the Indian state of Kerala. It is one of the churches of India's Saint Thomas Christian community, which traces its origins to the evangelical activity of Thomas...

His Grace Dr. Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros
Lutheran Church of Australia
Lutheran Church of Australia
The Lutheran Church of Australia is the major Lutheran denomination in Australia, it also has a presence in New Zealand. It has 320 parishes, 540 congregations, 70,000 baptized members in Australia, 1,130 baptized members in New Zealand, 52,463 communicant members and 450 active pastors. Its...

Mike Semmler
Mar Thoma Church
Mar Thoma Church
The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church also known as the Mar Thoma Church is a Christian denomination based in the state of Kerala in southwestern India. It has an entirely different identity when compared with other Churches in India. Most Christian churches around the world are divided into...

Bishop Joseph Mar Barnabas
Religious Society of Friends
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

Maxine Cooper
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

Archbishop Philip Wilson
Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Australia and New Zealand
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

Bishop Mihail (Filimon)
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

Bishop Irinej
Syrian Orthodox Church Archbishop Mor Malatius Malki Malki
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

Commissioner James Condon & Commissioner Raymond Finger
Uniting Church in Australia
Uniting Church in Australia
The Uniting Church in Australia was formed on 22 June 1977 when many congregations of the Methodist Church of Australasia, the Presbyterian Church of Australia and the Congregational Union of Australia came together under the Basis of Union....

Rev. Alistair Macrae
Alistair Macrae
The Rev. Alistair Macrae is an ordained Christian Minister of the Word of the Uniting Church in Australia, was formerly a Moderator of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, and is the current President of the National Assembly....


Presidents










YearNameDenomination
2009 - Bishop Michael PutneyRoman Catholic Church
2006 - 2009Bishop Richard ApplebyAnglican Church
July 2003 - 2006 Rev Professor James Haire
James Haire
James Haire AM, KSJ is a Christian minister of religion. He is currently the director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia...

Uniting Church in Australia
1999 - 2001Rev Lance SteickeLutheran Church
1997 - 1999Archbishop John BathersbyRoman Catholic Church
1994 - 1997Archbishop Aghan BaliozianArmenian Apostolic Church

General Secretaries







YearName
2009 -Tara Curlewis
2001 - 2009John Henderson
1994 - 2001David Gill


(Source: National Council of Churches in Australia)

External links