Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Training Course for Ecumenical Officers

Today marks the first day of the annual ecumenical training course for ecumenical officers.  It is organised by Churches Together in England (CTE) and Cytun.  It is an opportunity for County and Denominational Ecumenical Officers who have just taken up the role, to learn something of the basics.

One important aspect of the course is the presence of most of the National Ecumenical Officers as well as staff from CTE and Cytun.  This is an opportunity for new people to put faces to names and learn something of the issues that are current amongst the officers.

The course has four main dimensions:
  1. The core of the course is a visit to an ecumenical project.  This takes up most of the second day, with preparation, the visit and a debrief.  This year there are four destinations for visits: Mission in the Economy, Liverpool Seafarers' Centre, Fourth Dimension Churches' Shop, Church of the Resurrection and of St Bridgets.
  2. There is a taught section of the course which looks at the role of the ecumenical officer and some of the hot topics are challenging ecumenical officers today.  This year these include new ecumenism (relationships with new churches), relationships with new black churches and the role of Intermediate Bodies.
  3. There is time in denominational groups, so that each type of officer receives some input about their own tradition.  The County Officers have their own group about their own distinct role.
  4. There are a number of worship sessions that include opportunities to experience worship from various traditions, as well as ecumenical worship.
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