Monday, January 4, 2010

"A time for exchanging ecclesial gifts" (Baptists Today guest commentary)

The January 2010 issue of Baptists Today includes my guest commentary "A time for exchanging ecclesial gifts." Here's a teaser:

'Tis the season for exchanging gifts.

I'm referring not to the Christmas season just past but rather to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25), when we join with sisters and brothers in Christ from other denominations in praying Jesus' prayer that we "may all be one" (John 17:21).

Our prayers in this season move us to ponder what we might do to embody more fully the unity of the body of Christ. One hugely significant thing we can do for Christian unity is to participate in the exchange of the gifts that each Christian tradition has to offer the universal church....

....Receptive ecumenism is an approach to ecumenical dialogue according to which the communions in conversation with one another seek to identify the distinctive gifts each tradition has to offer the other and that each could receive from the other with integrity....

....Baptists have actually been practicing this sort of ecumenism for a long time (p. 18).

If you're interested in reading further but you or your church/school library do not receive the print edition of Baptists Today, you may subscribe to the electronic edition for $15/year via the Baptists Today web site--or wait a few months for the issue to be made available to the public on the site as a PDF. I'll post a notice here when that happens.

Speaking of the upcoming Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement have made available online helpful congregational resources for the 2010 observance with the theme "You Are Witnesses of These Things" (click on hyperlink). I hope you'll encourage your church to participate.

1 comment:

  1. Just as it takes effort and energy to share a gift with someone, Baptists (individual and corporate) must use effort and energy to go beyond themselves in reaching other Christians ecumenically.
    Baptists still need to do more stretching and growing in active dialog. That, alone, would be a wonderful gift!