Rev Anne Hewitt on ecumenism
September 7, 2022
Rev Anne Hewitt
What is your role and what do you do? What are some of the key pieces of work?
My role is Executive Director and General Secretary for Churches Together South Australia.
I provide ecumenical ministry, strategic executive leadership and pastoral support that resources, promotes, enables and encourages opportunities for Christian unity. Perhaps, an ecumenical Chaplain, working across all denominations and Christian Communities, networking, connecting and facilitating ecumenical ministry.
CTSA celebrates connection, care and living Christianity, that encourages practical faith and Public theology. Receptive Ecumenism opens us to listening deeply to each other, learning about each denomination as we also reflect on our own, and so, understanding more about the whole people of God and the joys found in its delicious diversity. Living in the Way of Jesus calls us to justice and peace, loving our neighbour, living locally while thinking globally and continually learning. It seeks to be inclusive, intergenerational, and intercultural, to enable practical experiences for ecumenism, spiritual enrichment, and missional engagement together.
What’s your understanding of ecumenism as part of the identity of the Uniting Church?
At 16 years old, I celebrated ‘becoming the UCA’. I remember the conversations leading up to Union, sharing about our denominations, our differences and nuances, and mostly, what we had in common – our faith. Receptive Ecumenism is in our DNA. I have lived the journey, seen it in action, and witnessed the unfolding of a Church who seeks to listen well, continually learn together and journey through God’s delicious diverse and interesting bunch of people. It’s truly something we should cherish, continue to practice, and definitely encourage the joys of ecumenical engagement. What’s not to like?
What’s the future of ecumenism?
The Church across the world is the largest movement. Imagine if the world’s ecumenical community harnessed our faith to positive action, restorative justice, peace-making and active change for healing across all God’s creation. We see this in the mission of the World Council of Churches and could do so much more. Ecumenical engagement helps us set aside our ‘cassock-fronting’ and theological differences, and focus on Jesus-teachings and Emmaus journeying together. The UCA has a significant gift to share within our family of God. Our ecumenical understanding and lived experience reflects a beautiful pilgrimage with God, on which we may warmly invite all whom we meet. Therein lies the joy!
May grace be in this space between us.