Monday, November 11, 2013

Home Again

Just got home over the weekend from Busan, Republic of Korea and here at the office of Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute in New York with some time to reflect on the World Council of Churches' Tenth Assembly.
While in my last blog I shared some disappointment with regards to Faith and Order issues, I think it is important to hold up the Unity Statement approved by the Assembly. It states in paragraph 4:
We grieve that there are also painful experiences of situations where diversity has turned into division and we do not always recognize the face of Christ in each other. We cannot all gather together around the Table in Eucharistic communion. Divisive issues remain. New issues bring sharp challenges which create new divisions within and between churches. These must be addressed in the fellowship of churches by the way of consensus discernment. Too easily we withdraw into our own traditions and communities refusing to be challenged and enriched by the gifts others hold out to us. Sometimes we seem to embrace the creative new life of faith and yet do not embrace a passion for unity or a longing for fellowship with others. This makes us more ready to tolerate injustice and even conflicts between and within our churches. We are held back as some grow weary and disappointed on the ecumenical path.
And, in paragraph 15:
In faithfulness to this our common calling, we will seek together the full visible unity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church when we express our unity around the one Table of the Lord... Above all, we pray without ceasing for the unity for which Jesus prayed (John 17): a unity of faith, love and compassion that Jesus Christ brought through his ministry; a unity Christ shares with the Father; a unity enfolded in the communion of the life and love of the Triune God.
While an exhortation, the Unity Statement does offer a theological vision for the World Council of Churches as to the kind of unity for which it strives. May the WCC be blessed in the Holy Spirit's power to carry through in this vision.

No comments:

Post a Comment