It's a busy week for ecumenical encounters in the form of bilateral ecumenical dialogue (ecumenical conversations between representatives of two Christian communions at the national or international level). Earlier this week a blog post at Ecclesial Theology called attention to Jane Stranz's blogging from the national bilateral dialogue in France between the Catholic Church and the French union of Lutheran and Reformed churches in which she is involved this week. Yesterday exploratory conversations between representatives of the Baptist World Alliance and international Pentecostals began at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama and will continue through December 15.
The Baptist-Pentecostal preliminary conversations will explore the feasibility of holding a multi-year series of formal conversations between representatives of the two traditions. Representing the Baptist World Alliance are Timothy George, chair of the BWA Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity and dean of Beeson Divinity School; William Brackney, director of the Acadia Centre for Baptist and Anabaptist Studies in Nova Scotia, Canada; Curtis Freeman, professor of theology and director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke University Divinity School; Fausto Vasconcelos, director of the BWA Division of Mission, Evangelism and Theological Reflection; and Neville Callam, BWA General Secretary. (I do not have access to a complete list of Pentecostal representatives as of this post.)
I invite readers of Ecclesial Theology to pray for the participants in the Baptist-Pentecostal and French Catholic-Lutheran/Reformed conversations this week, that their efforts might further the quest for the unity of Christ's followers for which our Lord prayed.
Update: Pentecostal representative (and Facebook friend) Jean Daniel Plüss has supplied information about the Pentecostal delegation: Dr. Celcil M. Robeck, Professor of Church History and Ecumenism, Fuller Theological Seminary; Dr. Leonard Lovett, Ecumenical Officer of the Church of God in Christ; Dr. Miguel Alvarez, President of SEMISUD Theological Seminary, Quito, Ecuador, Church of God, Cleveland; Bishop Daivd Ramirez, Latin American Field Director of Church of God, Cleveland; and Dr. Jean Daniel Plüss, Chair of European Pentecostal Charismatic Research Association. Absent due to illness: Dr. Byron Klaus, President of Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO.