SA Council of Churches 70th Birthday

The South Australian Council of Churches has invited all the churches in this State to celebrate the SACC's 70th Birthday during this year. It was formed as an ecumenical council in June 1947 "to represent South Australia in the World Council of Churches and to function as an integral part of the Ecumenical Movement". Similar councils were being formed in the other Australian States at the time, and indeed throughout the world, as plans were being made for the first great Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam in 1948.

The inaugural meeting of a group of church leaders was chaired by Bishop Robin (Anglican), who was appointed President. The Rev Louis Schmidt, then Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of SA, was Secretary. (The minutes for the first years of the committee were written in very formal Presbyterian fashion e.g. those present were the Sederunt.) Those first meetings would have looked very different from the later SACC. The twenty-four members, from eight denominations (no Catholics or Lutherans), were all male and almost all clergymen. The Rev Ralph Blanchard was an influential member and served as President in 1956.

Seventy years later, the SA Council of Churches can look back and give thanks for many years of ecumenical work and witness. (If you would like more detail, Norah Norris will be happy to lend you material about some of this story.) 

An Exchange of Gifts on the Journey towards Unity.

On Saturday 29th April, the SACC has invited four city churches to host a 'pilgrimage gathering' which will include times of prayer, story-telling, hospitality and walking together, moving to four different churches/halls. The event will be from 10.00am to 3.30pm and the venues are Pilgrim Uniting Church, St Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral, St Mary Magdalene Anglican Church and St Stephen's Lutheran Church. The entire day is open to all across the member churches.

For more information visit www.sacc.asn.au RSVPs essential by Wednesday 12th April (before Easter) to sacc@picknowl.com.au or phone 8215 0300.   Norah Norris

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