Theme: Making the Church that Christ Intends
What kind of society do we wish to see in Ireland in the years ahead?
The “Kingdom of God” can be described a s a way of life in which the love of God is radiated to people everywhere; so that they may grow towards the fulfilment of that plan at the end of time.
Looking around us can we in Ireland be said to have taken this plan of God seriously? Can we claim that the priority of Irish Christians has been, and is now, the creation of a society in which everyone knows themselves to be valued?
The unfolding of the plan of God is ultimately an ongoing quest for human dignity based on peace and justice despite the reality of evil and oppression in our daily lives. There is a common search for human wholeness within a world of change, aggression, and fear. There is a common desire to find meaning and purpose in our lives in the face of boredom and apparent futility. There is a hope that life can be better for our children.
It is difficult to continue in this common search for dignity and wholeness, for meaning and hope, when it appears that the society in which one lives has no need of one’s abilities, one’s intelligence, one’s gifts.
Many excellent projects, such as support groups, adult education programmes and various initiatives in community development, are taking place at local level.
But in our public life much has yet to be achieved. What are the priorities of the leaders of our society? What are the values that influence our decision-making? What values should be underpinned by our legislation, our policies, our programmes, if we are to build a society in which people can flourish?
In exploring the theme ‘Making the Church that Christ Intends’ the Conference will concern itself with the values which make for human worth and as well, are indispensable to a Christian way of living. It will consider standards that can be a test of our present day attitudes and provide directions for the years ahead. The theme will be approached from a number of aspects:
- Human wholeness – the scriptural vision
- Irish life in State and Church since the 1960’s – Historical perspectives
- Fulfilment in service
- What individuals and local communities can do Policy making at national level
The Church in the coming millennium – what should it be about?
The Spirit is always at work in the world, and there are many signs of this in our midst. These beginnings of renewal will be reviewed and the directions to be taken for the years ahead will be considered. It is hoped that all attending the Conference will be enabled to take away with them an enthusiasm for some idea(s) that can be put into action in their own communities.