Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baptists and Episcopalians, One in Christ

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, North Carolina are trying that suggestion out together this week. For the second year in a row, Ross Grove Baptist Church and the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer are joining forces for a joint Vacation Bible School, which this summer also features 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, Sunday through Tuesday and Thursday evening this week I'm leading a group of members from both congregations in a four-part study of the theme "Baptists and Episcopalians, One in Christ." Here are the topics we're discussing:

  • "A Shared Story: From Separation and Persecution to Toleration to Ecumenical Engagement"
  • "Common Prayer? Occasion for Division, Opportunity for Convergence"
  • "One Baptism? Comparable Journeys of Christian Initiation"
  • "One Bread, One Body? Together at the Table"
  • "So What? Living Into Our Unity"
I'll write more about this study and possibilities for similar steps toward unity at the grassroots in a future blog post for the ABPnews Blog, which I'll also link here and eventually post the full text here as well.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Dr. Harmon,
    Is there any chance these sessions will be recorded?