Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Quakers and the Ecumenical Agenda

Quakers and the Ecumenical Agenda is a new report from the Society of Friends about their witness to ecumenism.  The booklet looks at how local churches may experience the Holy Spirit in different ways and how they can come to recognise the gifts of the Spirit in other churches. Locally this needs a level of trust and development of personal relationships as the process changes, grows and develops over time.

The booklet has been prepared for and issued by the Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations (QCCIR) as part of the committee’s remit to support and encourage Friends in ecumenical work. It reflects some of the thinking of the committee in trying to introduce and pursue a new ecumenical agenda.
Some Methodists may wonder why Quakers are involved in ecumenical conversations.  After all they are unlikely to share the Methodist understanding of visible unity.  It would appear some Friends ask themselves a similar question.  Some Friends may wonder why Quakers should be involved in these discussions with other churches if so many of the topics are not relevant to us.
The booklet considers exchange of gifts and refers to the new movement to practice receptive ecumenism.  It explores the gifts Quakers might make to and receive from other traditions.
The booklet also considers the experience of the Holy Spirit and the nature of authority, most notably the authority of Scripture.
Overall it is a thoughtful contribution and should be of interest to anyone working ecumenically with Quakers,  The booklet concludes:
When people from all the churches meet in depth, in love and in truth, we can engage with each other in a truly relational ecumenism.
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