Ecumenism calls for a change of heart
UP until about two years ago, small talk at social functions was fairly easy.
It was only necessary to mention that I was a teacher and a whole world of conversation opened up.
Usually I was either regaled with stories about a person's own educational experiences or pressed for advice on the best schools for their children.
Then I changed jobs and now it is an entirely different picture.
If I respond to the question of employment with the information that I work in ecumenism, the normal reaction is stunned silence.
This is followed by a few seconds of mental gymnastics while a desperate search is made for another topic of conversation. Even for those who feel comfortable pronouncing the word, and have a notion that it has something to do with Christian unity, the concept that it could be pursued as a discussion topic is fairly daunting.
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By Margaret Naylon. Copyright © 2006, The Catholic Leader. Margaret Naylon is the executive officer of the Commission for Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations in The Archdiocese of Brisbane.