Well I'm back from Swanwick and what was an amazing 3 days. I met people from Churches who I had never heard about, I took part in worship in styles I had never encountered and I learnt a lot about ecumenism and realised I had a lot more still to learn if I am to make the contribution to the movement I want to.
There was a real sense that ecumenism has moved on leaps and bounds since CTE was formed in 1990 and that we are moving into a new era. One where we need a new direction and slogan to replace the idea of "Not Strangers but Pilgrims" which launched the process. There is a sense now that we are definitely not strangers, and that we know we are pilgrims on the same journey to Heaven, so how do we express the work we are doing together.
That idea of togetherness was crucial in all our discussions and the big question for all of us is how do local bodies such as FACT help individual churches with their work. What we do as ecumenical bodies must not be an add on, it must complement the work or assist the work which is already being done. The image of ecumenism being a bird with two wings was used. The two wings are unity and mission. We need to ask ourselves everytime we do something as FACT how is it helping with these two things.
The good news is we are well down this road as FACT. We are a lot further on with the work than many local groups.
The bad news is ..... I am fired up and inspired from my few days and you know what that means !