Christian Unity in the Neighborhood

By Mary Finklea

The National Workshop on Christian Unity was held in April in St. Louis, Missouri. The theme this year was Building the Beloved Community-A Call to Holiness. This gathering is attended by people of many different denominations, and all participate in worship and the keynote sessions. Throughout the week, each denomination also holds smaller meetings for each network. As your ecumenical and inter-religious representative, I participated in a variety of sessions, including, “Christian Unity and Inter-Religious Relations: A Crossroads of Commitments”, “How To Taize”, and “Declaration and Call to Action to Care for Creation”.

Ecumenical work happens in so many different ways and on so many different levels. From bishops and theologians drafting documents to laity attending a co-worker’s funeral in a neighboring church, opportunities to glimpse a different look at the Christian life abound. Some congregations share Holy Week services and host pulpit swaps throughout the year. Others maybe focus on advocacy and social justice work together by contributing to the local food pantry. Maybe you have found other Christian brothers and sisters volunteering to serve as tutors at your local public school and built relationships that benefit you, the children, and the school. What does ecumenism look like in your congregation? I invite you to look around your community, and see who potential partners for prayer and service could be. Maybe someone right now is looking for you!

More information and guidance can be found on the ELCA website www.elca.org/ecumenical or contact Rev. Mary Finklea at pastorfinklea@bellsouth.net.

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Contact Information

ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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