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
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 ... )
For over 50 years, the National Workshop on Christian Unity has been
gathering each year at a different city throughout the United States to
bring together all those involved in the work of Christian Unity,
welcoming delegates of church judicatories and ecumenists from all
churches who share one faith, one baptism in Jesus Christ. We discover
that there is so much more that we share than the focus on differences
which has kept us separated far too long.
The National Workshop
on Christian Unity is the only national gathering of its kind in the
world, intending to equip those given the responsibility of seeking
unity with ongoing formation with excellent plenaries and seminars,
opportunities throughout the week to join together in prayer, and
provide a context for fellowship from which friendships can develop,
friendships that are the starting place and cornerstone of any work of
unity in the Body of Christ. In addition to the workshps will be the United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT). UMEIT is a networking opportunity for United Methodists to learn best practices from ecumenical leaders working across the church. Please choose the UMEIT network when registering for the National Workshop.
By Sarah McKinney
“A glimpse of heaven!” is how Rev. Olaf van de Klashorst’s described
the ecumenical gathering on Sunday, January 25, 2015. Three churches within 4 miles of each other gathered
to praise God together.
Pastor Olaf serves Mount Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church
on Highway 65 in Rockingham County, North Carolina. Mount Bethel hosted a celebration for the
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Also
participating was Glencoe United Methodist Church served by the Rev. Dr. Edward
McKinney and Liberty Wesleyan Church served by the Rev. Danny Janes.
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