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Ecumenical Events

Following up on past events | World Council of Churches Assembly | Faith and Order 2007, Oberlin |

Yearly events: | National Workshop on Christian Unity | Week of Prayer for Christian Unity |

A Gathering of Colleagues: a NAEIS winter retreat will be in February

The National Association of Ecumenical and Interreligious Staff (NAEIS) has announced "A Gathering of Colleagues: to Share Ideas, Build Relationships and Strengthen Professionalism" for February 22-25, 2008 in Albuquerque, New Mexico Spiritual Renewal Center. The cost will be $245 for room, board, and registration. The only additional cost will be transportation.

NAEIS president Sam Muskyens says, "The retreat will not be a conference where we fly leadership in who make a presentation and leave. Rather, we will share our successes and failures with experienced ecumenical and interfaith leaders who are committed to the creation faith communities that work together. The retreat will be a time where we will pick up ideas from each other, encourage each other, and leave with a renewed spirit to work within the community where we are planted."

NAEIS yearly dues are $125 for head of staff, $75 for head of staff in agencies with budgets of less than $100,000 or staff doing ecumenical or interreligious work within organizations, $100 for denominational/faith tradition ecumenical/interreligious officers working for their denomination or faith tradition, $75 for associate members (previously employed in ecumenical/interreligious agencies), $50 for new members or $35 for new members from agencies with a budget of less than $100,000. Dues should be sent to: NAEIS, P. O. Box 7093, Tacoma, WA  98417. 


WCC stewards program accepting applications now

Young Christians, aged 18-30, who are hard-workers looking for an opportunity to interact with other young Christians from around the world, may apply now for a unique ecumenical formation experience: serving as World Council of Churches stewards. Twenty-five will be accepted to work with worship, the conference room, documentation, the press office, sound, and other administrative and support tasks at the February 13-20 central committee meeting in Geneva. Their February 6-22 steward's experience will include a week of exposure to key ecumenical issues and a post-meeting time to design ecumenical projects for implementation back home. Application must be received before September 20, 2007.

WCC internships open to young adults

Young adults with an ecumenical motivation and background are invited to apply for a one-year internship at the World Council of Churches. They must be 18-30 at the time the internship is due to begin in February 2008. Each intern will be attached to one of five program areas, to work in cooperation with staff. Each is also expected to plan a local ecumenical project during the stay in Geneva and to carry out the project in his/her home context beginning in February 2009, in coordination with the local church, ecumenical organization, or Christian youth network in that place. The application and all its backup papers must be received by September 20, 2007.

Unity and Reformed Heritage Seminar going to Geneva

An October 24-31, 2007, educational trip to Geneva will be sponsored by the Office of the General Assembly and coordinated by Carlos Malave. It is intended to address theological, social, and economical global issues -- such as interfaith dialogue, evangelism, globalization, church unity and ecumenical dialogue, justice and peace, and the Reformed faith in the 21st century -- through the experience of engaging with the staff of various ecumenical organizations in the city. The number of participants will be limited to 12, so early registration is advisable. Full information is on the web site. E-mail to request an application.

The seminar will include a visit to Geneva's Museum of the Reformation, recent winner of Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2007. Located on the spot where the people of Geneva voted to adopt Reformation in 1536, the museum features displays on the Bible, the work of Calvin, religious controversy with other Christian traditions, the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Protestant resistance to fascism, missionary work, and the role of women in the ministry. The prize's jury praised its international outlook, its demonstration of religious tolerance, and its efforts to visualize theological discourse, such as an interactive display on predestination.

Sacred books exhibited together in British Library and online

Sacred: Discover What We Share is a unique British Library exhibit running from April 27 to September 23, 2007. It shows exquisite, rare examples of sacred texts -- Jewish, Christian, and Muslim -- displayed side by side. The exhibit's web site offers explorations, including the ability to turn pages of some of the manuscripts and books even without going to London.

North American Academy of Ecumenists interpret scriptures together

The North American Academy of Ecumenists (NAAE) was birthed out of the original 1957 North American Faith and Order meeting in Oberlin, for which the 50th anniversary has just been celebrated. In 2007 it will meet in Saskatoon, Canada, on September 28-30, to explore "Interpreting the Scriptures Together: Seeking the Visible Unity of the Church." The international Faith and Order work on hermeneutics will be addressed. The conference will be professional and scholarly in substance and informal in style. This is in keeping with the NAAE purpose of informing, relating, and encouraging those whose profession or vocation in the church involves ecumenical activities and studies. The meeting's keynote presenter will be Princeton Seminary's Beverly Roberts Gaventa, and William Tabbernee of Phillips Theological Seminary will be the respondent. Follow the registration link on the web site.

Membership for NAAE may be paid online. It includes a subscription to the Journal of Ecumenical Studies (JES). The journal is now reorganizing, with Liz Mellen serving as chair of its board.


The Ecumenical Institute of Bossey has year-round programming

The mission of the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland, is to educate and form ecumenical leaders -- clergy and lay -- for service in parishes, classrooms, and ecumenical centers around the world. It has announced that it will expand its faculty to six full-time teaching staff, beginning with the 2007-2008 academic year. Ioan Sauca, Bossey's director, says, "The renewed academic team will reinforce Bossey's position as a unique space where academic excellence is combined with personal encounter, community and spiritual life." See information about its short seminars, its graduate school and its degree programs. See a 2006 news article describing the program.

2011 peace convocation to end WCC Decade to Overcome Violence

Concrete plans to mobilize churches around peace were approved by the World Council of Churches executive committee at its March 2007 meeting. The culmination will be an International Ecumenical Peace Convocation on May 4-11, 2011, and an Ecumenical Declaration on Just Peace. The declaration will not be a consensus document but, as a public affirmation of witness that is theological and spiritual in character, it will affirm what can be said together, identify topics for further discussion, recommend examples, and initiate practical services for committed groups. The convocation, expected to have some two thousand participants, will include representatives of other faiths. Planners will search with these representatives for ministries that struggle against the current trend to turn political conflict into religious confrontation. A timeline of preparatory processes has already been outlined, suggestions for participation have been posted, and related events will be listed as information is available. Geiko Muller-Fahrenholz, who is working on convocation preparations for the WCC, has visited the U.S. in March to garner ideas and dialogue about the state of the ecumenical peace movement. Themes for the conference have been identified as: peace at heart, peace at home, peace in the virtual world, peace on earth is peace with the earth, peace in the market place, and make peace not war.

Charles Wesley's approaching 300th birthday celebrated in events

The hymns of the church are ecumenical treasures and therefore the approaching 300th birthday of Charles Wesley on December 18, 2007, will be a landmark for many. He penned the words of thirteen hymns in the Presbyterian Hymnal, making him one of the most frequently represented authors. The Charles Wesley Society -- an inclusive, ecumenical body organization -- preserves, interprets, and disseminates Wesley's poetry and prose. It is listing a number of 2007 celebratory events.

Witherspoon conference to address issues before ecumenical community

A Witherspoon Society conference on mission and justice, scheduled for September 16-19, 2007, in Louisville, Kentucky, is set to address at least two issues receiving ecumenical attention at this time: First, they have invited stated clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick to speak, in his role as the president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), on its Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth program. Secondly, Chris Iosso, as the coordinator for the PC(USA) Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, will be discussing the Social Creed being revised from a 1908 document through an ecumenical process.

Following up on past events

World Social Forum had ecumenical presence in January

The 7th World Social Forum (WSF) in January 2007 was an open meeting space where groups in civil society could debate, share, and offer proposals in response to a world "dominated by capital and any form of imperialism." Even after the forum, examining some its issues can be instructive.

Faith and Order in the U.S.

The Faith and Order movement in the United States has celebrated 2007 as its fiftieth anniversary. To see more, click here.

Upcoming events in brief

  • National Council of Churches governing board, September 24-25, 2007
  • Christian Churches Together steering committee, September 27-28, 2007
  • North American Academy of Ecumenists, "Interpreting the Scriptures Together: Seeking the Visible Unity of the Church," Saskatoon, Canada, September 28-30, 2007
  • CANAAC Youth Gathering, October 2007 in Cayman Islands
  • NCC Faith and Order Commission, October 11-13, 2007
  • World Community Day, "Embracing Justice Under God's Tent," November 2, 2007
  • National Council of Churches general assembly, November 6-8, 2007
  • Middle East Council of Churches general assembly, November 26-30, 2007, Cyprus
  • National Workshop on Christian Unity, April 14-17, 2008 in Chicago
  • Christian Churches Together annual meeting, January 8-11, 2008
  • NCC quadrennial planning meeting of its five ecumenical program commissions, January 28-30, 2008 on St. Simons Island, Georgia
  • CANAAC Meeting and Gathering, February 18-22, 2008 in Georgetown, Guyana
  • World Day of Prayer, “God’s Wisdom Provides New Understanding,” March 7, 2008
  • WCC Faith and Order forum on bilateral dialogues, March 2008
  • Ecumenical Women's Gathering, "Claim a New Vision Together," Church Women United,  June 19-22, 2008, Independence, Missouri
  • National Workshop on Christian Unity, 2009 meeting in Phoenix, Arizona
  • WCC Faith and Order plenary commission meeting, October 2009
  • International Ecumenical Peace Convocation to conclude the Decade to Overcome Violence, May 4-11, 2011, venue TBA

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