Week of Prayer for Christian Unity January 2019
Some churches keep the official 18-25th dates and others a whole week- 20-27th January
The theme for 2019 is ‘Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue…’:
Resources have been prepared by Christians from Indonesia, the largest country in South East Asia,
made up of more than 17,000 islands, 1,340 different ethnic groups and over 740 local languages, united by one national language- Bahasa Indonesia. About 10% of Indonesians are Christian. Indonesians have lived by the principle of gotong royong which is to live in ‘solidarity and by collaboration’, regarding all Indonesians as brothers and sisters.
But gotong royong sits ill at ease with the neo-liberal approach to economics that has led to economic growth, and corruption infecting politics and business, often with devastating effects on the environment. Meanwhile those who are supposed to promote justice and protect the weak fail to do so. A country rich in resources bears the burden of many people living in poverty. The Christians of Indonesia found that the words of Deuteronomy, ‘Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue…'(see Deut. 16:18-20) spoke powerfully to their situation. (CTBI)
To download resources go to https://ctbi.org.uk/weekofprayer which includes outlines for daily and weekend services.
Only by working together-
Churches Together in England Forum 2018:
‘I am with you always – together in God’s mission’.
‘Only by working together can we alleviate the pain suffered by so many’, said one of the six Presidents of Churches Together in England , His Grace Archbishop Angaelos, Orthodox CTE President, referring to Orthodox, Anglican and Salvation Army churches responding to refugees.
The Forum of Churches Together in England took place at Swanwick: with 270 delegates, including many under 35, the six Presidents had a conversation together about the ‘Presence of Christ’. Questions were posed from six young adults who were present as Forum delegates and each President reflected on the ecumenical journey which we all share in response to the prayer of Jesus for mission and unity.
Pentecostal President, Pastor Agu Irukwu, said that our witness to Christ continues despite what we are going through. ‘Whether on the mountains or in the valleys, we tell the story of his presence with us just the same’. Archbishop Justin Welby, the President for the Church of England, added, ‘people will see the presence of Christ in us when we stop holding on to things and we start letting God put a cross in our hands’.
Referring to Jesus, one of the young adults asked the Presidents, ‘What tables would you overturn?’ Cardinal Vincent Nichols for the Roman Catholic Church said, ‘we are being given a consistent lead by Pope Francis on clericalism and the assumptions on a position of superiority and privilege that are sometimes present. He wants that table clearly and vigorously turned over’.
Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, the Free Churches President, agreed, suggesting we needed new ways of measuring success, ‘We need to come away from the competitiveness we’ve had between the Churches. Why not measure what impact we are having on society?’
All the Presidents spoke of the need for divine encounter. Revd Canon Billy Kennedy, representing the New Churches, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and the Lutheran and German-speaking Churches, said that in a ‘very fragmented world .. the Church needs to rediscover its confidence,’ and whilst language and culture change, ‘the need in human hearts hasn’t changed.’
The Forum marked the change of CTE General Secretary from the Revd Dr David Cornick, who retires, to the Revd Dr Paul Goodliff, recently appointed.
The CTE Forum brings together the 47 national member churches, regional Intermediate Bodies (like WYCT), and 51 other ecumenical Bodies
The Forum met at The Hayes conference centre at Swanwick, where in 1987 the then Presidents signed the Swanwick Declaration which proclaimed, “We are strangers no longer but pilgrims together on the way to God’s kingdom”.
New General Secretary for CTE
Churches Together in England (CTE) has made a new appointment:
The Revd Dr Paul Goodliff has been appointed General Secretary.
He will take up his appointment in September following the retirement of Revd Dr David Cornick, who says, ‘It is very good news indeed that the leadership of CTE will be in such capable hands as the churches of England build on their excellent relationships and reflect on ways in which they can collaborate in mission together.’
Paul is presently co-minister of Abingdon Baptist Church, having served previously as General Superintendent of the Baptist Union’s Central Area, and then as the Baptist Union’s Head of Ministry. He is well known as a lecturer and is the author of books on pastoral care, the theology and psychology of shame, and most recently, a study of ministerial formation and virtue ethics, Shaped for Service (2017). Widely experienced ecumenically, Paul has been a member of the WCC-Pentecostal Joint Consultative Group since 2000.
Remembrance 2018: the end of WWI
From Captain Jim Currin CA of CTE
Many of you will know that there has been a coordinating group hosted by Hope Together collating various partners, including some member churches of CTE, to provide resources as we remember WWI.
It has been a privilege to represent CTE around the table, not least as I know many hundreds of local groups of churches will be working together in the next few months, often in partnership with schools, Local Authorities, British Legion etc. so I am now reporting a significant development for you and your own intermediate and local networks to pass on.
The particular development, is that many churches and individuals will be promoting prayer together for peace, hope and reconciliation, during the 100 days that will run up to November 11th from August 4th. This replicates a call for prayer from King George V that preceded the Armistice in 1918 and for which new devotional material has been produced for use each day. You can read about the 100 days, and the resource, from the Hope mailing (below this email), being sent out today.
At the end there is a link to see the original 1918 service – thanks to the Archive of the Methodist Church.
Before that link will find many key resources that are being made available through the dedicated website today: http://www.remembrance100.co.uk. These include the facsimile soldiers Gospels produced in 2014, alongside many new resources that includes the booklet Silence, a film from Bible Society of the text used in Memorial Services, CofE Liturgies and prayers, School lesson plans, group discussion material, and more resources to be added.
Do keep check on the Remembrance 100 website. Alongside this new material is being added to the website that serves all our churches for Christian enquiries: http://www.christianity.org.uk. Do please keep promoting that for people who want to find out more about our faith and issues like peace, hope and reconciliation
About the ANGLICAN CENTRE IN ROME
“Centro is the newsletter of the Anglican Centre in Rome. It is filled with articles about our activities and plans for the future – as well as reflections on the current ecumenical environment in Rome from our friends and contacts in the city” To arrange for an electronic copy click here