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
Ecumenical / Interfaith Headlines
By Donald E. Messer*
An Ecumenical Civil Rights Pilgrimage of forty-six laity and clergy,
that started at the birthplace of Baptist preacher Martin Luther King,
Jr., in Atlanta, and ended at the motel where he was martyred in
Memphis, traced not only the struggles of the past but focused on
contemporary issues of justice and equality.
Led from March 5 to 9 by
retired St. Luke's United Methodist pastor, Rev. M. Kent Millard, and
Bob Zehr, both of Indianapolis, the interracial ecumenical group of
Presbyterians, Catholics, Quakers, and United Methodist clergy and
laity, also included students and faculty of Christian Theological
Seminary (a Disciples of Christ seminary), and a seminary student from
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
On March 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm, The United Methodist Church joins Churches Uniting in Christ to present ‘Truth to Power: Eradicating Racism’, a webcast focused on:
- Bringing together those disaffected throughout society with our faith communities and leaders to create a new network
- Creating authentic relationships between churches, civic organizations, and community activists
- Engaging and training in civic education
- Dismantling systems of oppression and surviving systems of oppression.
Live stream is available. Check out the event info here: http://bit.ly/1BlMqwj
2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Leymah Gbowee will speak during the opening plenary at the upcoming
Christian Unity Gathering. Gbowee is a well-known peacebuilder and
received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with women of many faiths
to end the civil war in Liberia. Gbowee continues to work with women in
conflict regions as Executive Director of
Women Peace and Security Network (WIPSEN-Africa). As we begin to
explore our priority of Interfaith Relations with a Focus on Peace,
Gbowee's story will be both instructive and inspiring for the work
The 2015 Christian Unity Gathering will be held at the Hilton Washington
Dulles in Herndon, VA outside Washington, DC May 7-9. The event will be
a celebration of ecumenism and an opportunity to put that spirit into
practice as we continue our work to respond
to the mass incarceration crisis and explore our second priority,
interfaith relations with a focus on peace.
The program will include ample opportunity for all attendees to engage
with one another through group discussion, input from expert resource
people to help inform our discussion, and service of remembrance for the
100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide
held at Washington National Cathedral. Also importantly, both the
Governing Board and Convening Tables will meet as well.
Violence perpetrated in the name of religion was highlighted as “a defining issue of our generation” by Canon David Porter when he spoke to members of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC). United Methodist representative, the Rev. Stephen Sidorak ecumenical staff officer for the OCUIR, was in attendance.
Porter, appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as director for reconciliation at Lambeth Palace in London, joined the WCC meeting via Skype on 17 February. The meeting has brought together CCIA members who will set directions for the work of the Commission in coming years.
At the meeting, Porter said that religiously sanctified violence is a
global challenge, and not just an issue of the Arab world. “The reality
is that those promoting such violence are looking deep into their own
religious traditions and are attempting to find justifications for their
actions,” he said. (More ... )
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