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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Communion of Christian churches gathers in St. Louis to address issues of race and reconciliation
News Release

Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC), a body committed to expressing unity and combating racism together, will gather over the next days in St. Louis to explore issues of race and reconciliation.

The group, comprised of ten Christian communions, will meet January 28–30, primarily at St. Peter African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Worship, fellowship, and dialogue will punctuate the event, which is expected to set the tone and direction for the future of the organization.

“In an age in which so much threatens to divide us within society and within the church, it is significant that these ten churches are coming together to look at ways in which we can both more fully reconcile our churches and work together to heal the sinful division of race within our Christian communities and country,” said the Reverend Robina Winbush, CUIC president and director of ecumenical relations for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

“We do this in response to the gospel mandate and buy viagra china as a witness to the world,” she said.

The Reverend Waltrina Middleton, associate for national youth event programming with the United Church of Christ (UCC), will preach during opening worship. Her cousin was among those killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (often referred to as Mother Emanuel) in Charleston, South Carolina, last year.

The gathering also will include focused work on topics such as “Racial and Social Justice Formation in Action,” “Youth and Young Adult Alliances,” “Signs of Reconciliation: Tools for Local CUIC Congregations to Come Together,” “Identifying and Addressing White Supremacy Groups with Christian Identity,” and “Changes in Ordained Ministries with CUIC Churches.”

This work is not new for CUIC, which has roots that go back to the 1960s with the formation of the Consultation on Church Union (COCU). The late Reverend Eugene Carson Blake, Stated Clerk of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, was one of the early pioneers of COCU, which addressed divides originating in the European context related to 
ecclesiology, sacraments, and ministry and divides particular to the United States context related to race.

CUIC member churches are the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church, the International Council of Community Churches, the Moravian Church (Northern Province), the PC(USA), the United Church of Christ, and the 
United Methodist Church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a partner in mission and dialogue.

For more information about CUIC, go to
United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT) 2016


UMEIT is the United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training network. Composed of church members from UMC conferences who are interested and levitra canada cheap cures involved in the work of Christian unity and interreligious dialogue, UMEIT holds a network gathering at the National Workshop on Christian Unity to provide training. OCUIR staff and volunteers offer guidance and assistance. 


UMEIT USA 2016 registration is now open! Register before March 28, 2016 for a fee of $40, after this date the registration fee will be $50. The training will be held April 18-21, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky — at the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU). For more information, contact Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst, Associate Ecumenical Staff Officer for Leadership Development at  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


To download the United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT USA) brochure, please click here. 


Scholarships for seminary students 

The Council of Bishops Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR) is an office dedicated to helping United Methodist bishops shepherd the denomination in ecumenical and interfaith ministries. Once again OCUIR will be offering scholarships to seminary students to attend the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) and the United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT USA) for their first time. These two training events will be held simultaneously April 18-21, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. All interested United Methodists are welcome to attend.

The scholarships will be for United Methodist seminarians who have never attended NWCU or UMEIT previously. The application form can be obtained by visiting deadline to email completed scholarship applications is February 26, 2016


For UMEIT USA 2016 questions or registration information please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .   

The prophetic vocation: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on justice & peace


I hope to accomplish three things in this essay. 

First, I intend to put the renowned Riverside Church sermon, “A Time to Break Silence,” or, as it is alternatively entitled, “Beyond Vietnam,” into historical context, to recall that turbulent period in American history when this sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and to remind ourselves that it was preached on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before he was assassinated.


Second, I will lift up excerpts from the writings of Dr. King on the themes of justice and peace as well as highlight selected passages from the Riverside sermon in the hope of not only inspiring us with his soaring eloquence, but also energizing us with his call to action. As Vincent Harding averred in his book,Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero, “his Riverside speech offers a summons to us ... to create a new reality.” And Harding should know as he had a hand in its authorship.


Third, I will make some comments about the prophetic vocation of Dr. King, about the fate that often awaits messengers who deliver such disturbing messages as that contained in the document under examination. For “…King was waging,” in the words of Adam Wolfson, in his essay “The Martin Luther King We Remember,” “a more fundamental battle … over the meaning of America.” Dr. King was on a “sacred mission to save America,” as the subtitle of Stewart Burns book, To the Mountaintop, aptly puts it, adding that Dr. King, in fact, “wanted to send a message to posterity, a prophecy for the ages.”


Creating a Culture of Peace and Interreligious Dialogue
"Creating a Culture of Peace and Interreligous Dialogue” by Youngsook Charlene Kang, Director of Mission & Ministry, The Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church, and UMC representative to Religions for Peace USA (RFPUSA). 
"If you don't like the way to the world is, you change it. You have
an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time."
— Marian Wright Edelman
How fearful should we be? We wonder.
Jessica Stern, in her New York Times Sunday Review article (December 6, 2015), reflects on the San Bernadino attacks and click here levitra pill price talks about "terror management theory." Quoting some experimental psychologists who suggest that much of human behavior is motivated by an unconscious terror of death or mortality, Stern says, "What saves us from terror is culture. Cultures provide ways to view the world that solve the existential crisis engendered by the awareness of death."
Culture shapes us. Culture informs our worldviews. A culture of peace will help save us from fear and hatred. It will save us from the violence perpetuated in a series of terror attacks and the political rhetoric of discriminating against certain religious or national groups.
Creating a culture of peace is peacemaking. Peace is indeed God's gift, but at the same time it is our task. The gift of peace given by Christ (John 14:27) is not something that simply falls from heaven. Rather it is a commitment and a passion for God's mission of bringing about shalom, well-being, and fullness of life. We as peacemakers are called to seek ways to transform ourselves and our culture of violence. According to Henri Nouwen, peacemaking is not peripheral to being a Christian.
Building a culture of peace is to empower ourselves to practice active peacemaking in our daily lives. Working for peace means a campaign to stop the war and for opposing groups to stop attacking each other. It also means working for a change of mentality, "a transformation of conflict." It is to bring about a change of paradigm and create the foundation for a culture of peace. 
So, what are the things that make for peace?  How do we as Christians learn to build a culture of peace in the face of a brutal reality of violence, conflict and war? It is my belief that engaging in interfaith dialogue and buy prescription levitra online cooperation is an important part of the solution.
When conflicts arise in many places, the only road we may reasonably travel, the only way forward, and the only viable option is to work together among different faiths. How else may we achieve peace and justice among us? If persons of faiths do not come together, who will?  In fact, the faiths of our neighbors share a mutual concern for peace and justice among humanity. By engaging in dialogue with interfaith communities we come one step closer to overcoming hostilities, bringing peace and reconciliation and making this world a better place to live.
The essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ is for peace. In Mark 9:49-50, Jesus says to his disciples,
"Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with each other."(Mark 9:50b) 
Mark is saying the disciples should be engaged in peace building for each other.  Mark's model of peace building is to challenge peace seekers to respond to "enmity" with love, and with moral force, not physical force. We disciples of Jesus Christ are called to respond to one another with transformative "saltness".
Miriam Therese MacGillis says that "... the first and foremost task of the peacemaker is not to fight death, but to call forth, affirm and nurture the signs of life wherever they become manifest."
During this season of anticipation, I pray that we may look for the signs of life unfolding in our community of faith. And I invite you to invite God the Emmanuel into your life in creating a culture of peace today.
"Oh Come, Oh come, Emmanuel,
O, Come, Desire of nations bind all peoples in one heart and mind.
From dust thou brought us forth to life; deliver us from earthly strife."
How hopeful should we be? As often as we can.
Grace and peace in Christ,

Youngsook Charlene Kang
Director of Mission and Ministry
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