Friday, 26 November 2010

Ecumenical Basics (2) - Contents

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.Image via Wikipedia
Yesterday I filled in the background of the ecumenical collaboration behind the Methodist resource 'Ecumenical Basics'.  Today, I intend to summarise its current contents.

There are 35 notes and this might seem a little daunting.  The idea is that each page is no more than one side of A4.  This means they can be copied and circulated for training events, etc.

The first 21 notes owe most to 'Bishops Behaving Ecumenically' and are a basic introduction to ecumenical work for District Chairs.  Where I have made changes it is to widen the scope of the work so that anyone involved with District ecumenical work might learn from it.  There is a mixture of material about general principles of ecumenism and suggestions about how to organise ecumenical work.  The value of this material is that its first author is someone with significant experience, sharing tips about how he organises his work.  Here are a couple of paragraphs from the section 'Taking Time to Learn':

What we seek is a maturity of relationship with ecumenical colleagues, so that communication is open and real not tentative and partial. Trust needs time to grow and a key step is to take the learning process seriously.

We expect to learn the tools of our trade in a whole host of areas. We therefore properly give time to learning the language and procedures of ecumenical working. It is difficult enough learning how our own Church operates, so work which zigzags across a number of Churches, requiring joint attention and decision-making, is bound to be complex, and at times tedious.

This section goes on to suggest two types of learning that need to take place:
  • The basics about ecumenical structures and procedures
  • Learning how Partner Churches work
The remainder of the notes cover more specific material about how to set up ecumenical structures, eg
  • Local Ecumenical Partnerships
  • Churches Together Groups
  • Appointing Clergy
  • Sharing Church Buildings
  • Relationship with the United Reformed Church
  • the Anglican Methodist Covenant and the Ecumenical Canons
  • Joint Confirmations
I try to review these notes once a year or when there are obvious changes.  It's due for a review.  If there is information you would like me to add, please let me know via a comment below.
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