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I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.


As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.


-- John 17:20-21, NRSV

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United Methodists and Lutherans Look for Ways to Work Together
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Steve Horswill-Johnston, Executive Director
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 United Methodists and Lutherans Look for Ways to Work Together

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. July 28, 2015 /Discipleship Ministries/ – Leaders of The United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are discussing ways the two denominations can work together as they further explore what it means to be in full communion with each other.

Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church hosted a day-long meeting with ELCA representatives in early July to outline next steps in the relationship, which began when the two denominations joined in full communion in 2009.

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman, Executive Director of Congregational and Synodical Missions, and Evelyn Soto, Director of Unit Operations and Programs at ELCA, met with senior leaders at Discipleship Ministries, including leaders of Leadership Ministries, New Church Starts (Path 1) and Young People’s Ministries.

“We share a lot of issues in common that are very, very important to us,” said Doug Ruffle, Associate Executive Director of Path 1, who hosted the meeting. “They include race relations in the United States, issues of poverty, ways to better equip leaders for leadership in the 21st century and creating new places for new people going forward.

“We're going to be taking some small action steps at this point, but I think that the affirmation, at least from our standpoint, is that we realize that this is more important than any single denomination,” Ruffle said. “There's something at stake here, and it has to do with the clarity of the Gospel in the world. That's the point, and full communion is about that.”

Both denominations have gifts to give and to receive, Bouman said.

 “The body of Christ will be richer because of this,” Bouman said. “It's not a mixing and matching of bureaucracies. We're all dealing with the same questions ... so why not think about this together?”
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Application for Grant Assistance For Local Ecumenical and Interreligious Ministries

  

 

The Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships is a ministry of the Council of Bishops. Our vision is for The United Methodist Church to live more fully into Christian unity and deepen interreligious relationships. To that end we are offering 3 grants, each in the amount of $1,000 to groups within annual conferences for special projects designed to strengthen ecumenical and/or interreligious relationships. The application deadline is September 15, 2015. Recipients will be chosen and checks will be mailed by November 15, 2015. The projects must be completed between December 2015 and July 2016. Preference will be given to annual conference groups elected to lead in Christian unity and interreligious relationships.

 

Click here to download the 2015 application for grant assistance for local ecumenical and interreligious ministries.

 

Please submit completed applications to Jean Hawxhurst at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by September 15, 2015.  

 

 

 
John Huss and His Significance to United Methodists

By Dr. Glen Alton Messer, II 


On 6 July 1415 the Czech priest and rector of the University of Prague, Jan Hus (in English, John Hus or Huss), was burned alive for heresy. This year marks the 600th anniversary of his death as a result of his efforts to reform the church of his day. Many of his ideas, themselves echoes of ideas espoused by the Englishman, John Wycliffe (c. 1331-1384), were taken up by Martin Luther, John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and others, to shape the Reformations of the 16th century. How is Jan Hus significant to United Methodists and what is it important to know about this church reformer? 


ImageJan Hus (c. 1369-1415) is one of the most significant historical figures in the transmission of ideas that would become essential components of efforts to correct what were perceived by him, and many others, as errors in Medieval church doctrine, church government, and understandings of how to live an authentic Christian life. Breaking with the general practice of the day, he preached in the common language of Bohemians (Czech) and believed that the scriptures should be translated and available to all peoples in their native tongue. He saw the Bible as the source of religious authority and trusted that the people could read and interpret it for themselves. The main function of the priest was to preach to the people and call them to a Christian life. Priests were not intermediaries between the individual and God. Indeed, he rejected the notion that the hierarchy of the church was necessary to the salvation of Christians. Jan Hus emphasized the importance of free will and of the individual to take responsibility for their life in accordance with the teachings of faith. 


Jan Hus was also an outspoken critic of the bishops and popes of his day. The Medieval church had undergone a lengthy period of internal strife — exemplified by a period in which there were multiple claimants to the papacy. The church’s integrity was in question, owing to money-making schemes whereby pardons for sin were exchanged for payment (indulgences). It had also become common practice to charge for priestly services and the performance of certain rites. Whatever Hus could not find authorized in scripture he either openly questioned or outright rejected. 

 

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Application for Scholarship to Attend the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey
  
 
The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey was founded by the World Council of Churches in Switzerland in 1946 as an “ecumenical laboratory,” bringing together students of ecumenism in Christian community. OCUIR is pleased to offer scholarships to 1 or 2 students who wish to participate in the “Complementary Certificate in Ecumenical Studies” (CC) through Bossey in conjunction with the University of Geneva. A total amount of $10,000 will be split between the chosen applicants.
 
Applicants for this scholarship must be members of the United Methodist Church, be between the ages of 22 and 30, be preparing for vocational ministry in the UMC, and be accepted by Bossey into the study program. The deadline to receive applications to Bossey is November 30, 2015, so your completed application for the scholarship must be received by Jean Hawxhurst in the OCUIR office no later than September 14, 2015. Notification will be given to the scholarship recipients no later than October 8, 2015. For more information about the CC in Ecumenical Studies go to www.institute.oikoumene.org
 
Click here to download the 2016 application for scholarship assistance to attend the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey.
 
Please submit completed applications to Jean Hawxhurst at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by September 14, 2015. 

 
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