Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Eucharistic sharing and living into unity

A church newsletter column by Alan Combs, pastor of Lane Memorial United Methodist Church in Altavista, Virginia, kindly references and quotes from Ecumenism Means You, Too in calling the congregation's attention to the observance of the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25 (click on hyperlink to read the full column). Rev. Combs then introduces plans for Lane Memorial UMC to "live into the unity for which Christ prayed" through a joint celebration of the Eucharist with a neighboring Episcopal church, authorized by the churches' respective bishops, as a grassroots implementation of the commendation of "interim Eucharistic sharing" in the 2006 report of a national bilateral dialogue in the United States between the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church. I'm delighted to know of this, for I'm convinced that national and international ecumenical dialogues ultimately accomplish little unless their results are received and implemented at the local level.

For what it's worth, Rev. Combs led a study group at a previous parish he served as pastor, Heritage United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, to take up a multi-week discussion of Ecumenism Means You, Too. That's just the sort of use I envisioned for the book, and I hope other readers of Ecclesial Theology will consider doing likewise.

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