Dr. Thomas Ferguson (TEC) and Dr. Michael Trice (ELCA)
This seminar is for all those who are new to the formal structures of the ecumenical movement. It provides a brief history and introduction to the movement, context for current dialogues, overview of national and international ecumenical conversations, and a sampling of new and emerging discussions. The presentation will draw on the attendees’ experience of ecumenical engagement and will encourage conversation and interaction.
Speakers : Winners of the Contest Moderator: Elizabeth Ring
Theological students were asked in their 2008 fall semester to submit an essay that drew on the theme, “That they may be one in your hand,” (Ezekiel 37:17) which suggests a move from apostasy to dispersion to redemption and fi nally to unity. The students were to address the ecumenical weaknesses of their own traditions, refl ect on biblical stories that could strengthen their witness to Christian unity, and then propose reforms that would enhance their own church’s ecumenical insight. The essay contest winners from the denominational ecumenical networks will comment on their essays and lead a panel discussion in the seminar on ecumenical reforms.
This seminar is the second in a three-year series on “Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry,” Faith and Order Paper No. 111 issued by the World Council of Churches in 1982. This year’s focus will be on the theological and practical implications of Eucharist. Among items to be discussed is whether increased mutual understanding expressed in the statement may allow some churches to attain a greater measure of eucharistic communion among themselves, and so bring closer the day when Christ’s divided people will be visibly reunited around the Lord’s Table in the Church’s highest act, the praise of God.
Churches should act together in ALL matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel them to act separatel This is the Lund Principle. Agreed at the 1952 Faith and Order Conference of the World Council of Churches convened in Lund, Sweden, this break-through principle remains tragically unknown to many people. Very few church leaders consciously try to live by it. Although reaffirmed in the 1995 papal encyclical Ut Unum Sint, lack of awareness of the principle begs the question,“Is the principle viable today?” This seminar will explore the implications of the LundPrinciple for the life and mission of congregations, local judicatories, and beyond. What“deep convictions” compel separation today? To what extent can we combine our Christly ministries? What is the impetus that keeps Christian communities functioning autonomously? How will your congregation live the Lund Principle?
The Ecumenical Implications of Post-Modern Thought
Very Rev. Dr. Nick Knisely (TEC)
In the 20th Century developments in science and philosophical thought have led to a reevaluation of the Enlightenment intellectual enterprise which underlies most of Protestant and post-Tridentine theological thinking. As scientific discoveries have repeatedly confirmed that this reevaluation is required of all secular thinking, theologians and philosophers are starting to reexamine the historical methodology of denominational thought. There are likely significant opportunities to recast the ecumenical enterprise as a result. This seminar will discuss some of the philosophical and scientific developments in thinking and suggest a few possible implications for the ecumenist.
On 13 October, 2007 A Common Word Between Us and You: An Open Letter and Call from Muslim Religious Leaders was promulgated. Addressed to “Leaders of Christian Churches, everywhere,” this invitation to fellowship and dialogue had 138 signatories, each significant in stature and influence, and together embodying the worldwide breadth of Islam. In the year since its release, A Common Word has elicited a variety of thoughtful responses. This seminar will explore this phenomenon and several other recent Christian-Muslim dialogical projects—the ways in which they have honored or protected difference as well as the ways in which they have celebrated the common ground upon which Muslims and Christians stand.
Equipping Church Leaders in the Quest for Christian Unity