Church leaders, lay and ordained, have gatherd in Sigtuna, Sweden for a three day meeting. The purpose is to receive reports and provide the remit for the Porvoo Contact Group (PGC) for the next four yeas, to express concern and give guidance.
Delegates engaged in animated discussion during Bible studies.
Faithful to tradition, open to new learning
Martin Wharton to the right with Johan Dalman and Steinunn Bjornsdottir after the Eucharistic service.
The Rt Revd Martin Wharton, bishop of Newcastle and co-chair of the Porvoo Contact group reflected on the example of St Cyril, a fourth century bishop of Jerusalem, in his sermon at the beginning of the Church Leadership Consultation in Sigtuna. St Cyril was faithful to the tradition he inherited, yet responsive to new questions, new opportunities and open to new learning and new insights. His contribution to making the gospel alive, understood and relevant to people around him still influence our liturgy today.
Different types of leadership and ministry was among the topics discussed in Sigtuna. Berit Hagen Agoy gave an insight into lay leadership and shared with the delegates experiences from the history of Christianity in Norway.
On Friday delegates participated in workshops on various issues, responding to present challenges
- Migration/integration – The ecumenical challenge of integrating migrants within the Porvoo Communion
- Challenges of Climate change – e.g. Migration and Christian Lifestyle
- Rich/poor divide: A Porvoo Reality Today
- Secularisation: a challenge to mission
- Responding to Conflict
Reports from the workshop were given on Saturday. They will be included in the Consultation report and help shape the work of the Porvoo Communion.
Interfaith issues were on the agenda of the Porvoo CLC with an introduction from Scotland, where the the last Porvoo Inter – Fiath Consultation was held in December 2008. A short film from the Festival of Spirituality and Peace was also shown. The introduction raised some questions on interfaith forums and issues that were discussed in small groups.