WATAC hopes for a Synodal Church

4 August 2021
Bishop Vincent Long speaks with participants during the inaugural Diocesan Forum. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


Women and the Australian Church (WATAC) the activist and advocacy organisation, have announced the next topic in their popular bi-monthly series of interactive webinars – A Synodal Church: What This Means For The People Of God. These events provide theological formation to women across Australia while building community.

Guests Elissa Roper and Debbie Edwards, will discuss the hope and joy of a synodal church. Pope Francis describes synodality as “the path” that the Catholic Church is called to walk, and as the “interpretive framework” for understanding all elements of the church. On this basis, they ask, what does a synodal church look like? What are the People of God called to do?

Elissa Roper is a theologian with a deep interest in community and what it means to be church. She was baptised at age 22 and hasn’t stopped seeking. In the past 20 years she has studied theology, raised four children with her husband Philip, served in the ecumenical and interfaith fields, contributed to parish life and presented to academic and education audiences. Elissa is honoured to work with the Sisters of Mercy to manage their Program of Theology in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Elissa has recently completed her doctorate with the title: “Synodality and Authenticity: towards a contemporary ecclesiology for the Catholic Church.”

Debbie Edwards is a Pastoral Worker in Victoria. On the ground in two parishes for the past 13 years, Debbie has served under Parish Priests with differing approaches to their roles, from relaxed to traditional. She has surfed the shifting challenges of parish life, from bushfire and clergy sexual abuse to the peaceful rewards that ministry in a parish can bring. Married with 6 children and 6 grandchildren, Debbie lives with a practical approach to God’s presence, and a great appreciation for the Risen Jesus, who laughed, cried and negotiated living and dying, just as we do.

Tracy McEwan, Vice-President of WATAC, says of this event, “We are delighted to welcome Elissa and Debbie, women of faith and insight to WATAC Presents. We look forward to the exchange of ideas and growth in community that collaboration brings.”

WATAC Presents is on Wednesday 11 August from 6pm to 7pm AEST. Register via www.watac.net.au to participate.

Established in 1984, Women and the Australian Church (WATAC) is an incorporated organisation committed to a Church characterised by equality. For more information please contact Andrea Dean on chair@watac.net.au or https://watac.net.au

With thanks to Women and the Australian Church (WATAC).


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