This post was originally published on the ABPnews Blog.
In my book Ecumenism Means You, Too: Ordinary Christians and the Quest for Christian Unity, I suggested this as something that “ordinary Christians” can do locally to further the visible unity of the church: “If your own denomination has been in…official dialogue with other churches, studying and discussing these reports would be an ideal way to learn about other denominations and their relationship to your own tradition” (pp. 63-64).
Two churches in Shelby, NC, tried that suggestion out together this summer. For the second year in a row, Ross Grove Baptist Church and the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer combined their resources to hold a joint Vacation Bible School, which this summer also featured an “adult track.” The world communions of the two churches, the Baptist World Alliance and the Anglican Communion, held a series of conversations 2000-2005 that produced a substantial study text. In connection with that document, I led a group of members from both congregations in a study of the theme “Baptists and Episcopalians, One in Christ.” Here are the topics we discussed: