The 12th Clergy-Laity Assembly of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia was an absolute success – an event of historical importance, as it was the first Clergy-Laity Assembly convened after 2013 and the last before the completion of one-hundred-years anniversary since the foundation of the Orthodox Church of Australia.
The general topic of the Assembly, which was hosted at the College of Saint Spyridon in Sydney, was titled: “Walk in the Church”. Clergy and laity from all over Australia -more than 650 in total- met for two days at the premises of the Greek Orthodox College and were informed, discussed and shared their anxieties, concerns and views for the future. “They lived an experience of communion,” as Archbishop Makarios of Australia said in his closing speech, on the afternoon of September 26.
“Apart from the inspired and comprehensive presentations of the Holy Hierarchs and all the speakers, which really gave us food for thought, I humbly believe that the most important and crucial thing is precisely this sense of communion and unity that we all gained.
It is about the inner conviction inside our hearts that we belong to the one Body of Christ, in which we all “walk” together. After all, this is what we seek and desire every time; the companionship, the common “walking” within the Church,” the Archbishop underlined.
Moreover, Archbishop Makarios said that the resonance of companionship did indeed exist in the Holy Archdiocese of Australia during the 12th Clergy-Laity Congress. This resonance became apparent through the presentations and positions expressed, but mainly through the reports and conclusions drawn by the institutions and organizations of the local Church.
“The whole work that you heard about and which is being carried out, by the Grace of God, in our Holy Archdiocese, became reality thanks to the good cooperation of our bishops, other clergy and lay brothers and sisters. It is an ecclesiastical work and not social activism. It serves the construction and unity of the Body of Christ and not just the temporary satisfaction of the needs of our fellow human beings and society.”
The Archbishop also thanked all those involved in the successful organization of the 12th Clergy-Laity Congress.
Archbishop Makarios also referred to the Ecumenical Patriarch, who will visit Australia in 2024, the year in which the local Church will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its foundation. “I feel the need to thank once again from the bottom of my heart our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his special care for the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.
I would like to thank him for his love, affection and care, for the video message he sent us, and of course for having sent here, on his behalf, a worthy and brilliant Archbishop, Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain.”