This year, the Uniting Church WA Ecumenical and Interfaith Award, was presented to two Uniting Church WA congregations at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Synod of WA.
Rev Justine Wall, Convenor of the Ecumenical Affairs Network, presented the awards.
“The award is designed to celebrate ecumenical initiatives in our congregations, agencies and schools,” she said.
“I want to give my congratulations to The Billabong Uniting Church, and Floreat Uniting Church and their Creative Living Centre.”
The Billabong Uniting Church has a strong desire to work with other Christian denominations. Their building officially opened in 2015, and was always intentioned to be a multifunctional community centre.
Five churches from other denominations currently worship at The Billabong Uniting Church and Community Centre over Saturday and Sunday each weekend. Regular coffee and prayer meetings are held at the site, representing eight Christian denominations, and the site is also available and frequently used for training and supporter events for Christian ministries such as Barnabus Fund, Kairos Prison Ministry, Bible Society and Scripture Union.
In the future, the congregation plans to participate in a ‘love attack’, where instead of holding their own worship on a Sunday morning, they will attend and participate in worship of another congregation to support and bless them.
Rev Luke Williams, Minister at The Billabong Uniting Church, accepted the award.
In Floreat, All Saints Floreat Uniting Church Creative Living Centre also received an Ecumenical and Interfaith Award for their work on the ‘Sustainability Now’ workshop.
Held in June, the workshop was widely advertised in the community and attracted over 70 people from many denominations and people from non-church backgrounds. The workshop addressed issues around sustainability from an ecumenical, theological and scientific perspective.
The workshop aimed to engage a range of well-respected experts, provide opportunity for people to learn about countering global warming and its impacts, to bring people from different denominations and faiths together on a common cause, to foster understanding between different denominations and faiths and to explore the possibility for further interfaith activities and experiences.
Looking to the future, All Saints Floreat Uniting Church Creative Living Centre are planning another workshop in June 2020, with a more practical approach.
Marie Yuncken, Secretary at All Saints Floreat Uniting Church Creative Living Centre, accepted the award.
Both winners will receive a financial contribution from the Uniting Church WA towards their projects.