Author Topic: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013  (Read 2302 times)

Johan Bergfest

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2013, 11:30:27 AM »
Pr. Hesse - I'm not asking for resolutions on unity.  I'm suggesting that we all behave with confidence that we are one in Christ, irrespective of the things that divide us.


So what would that look like? How would it be different than what we are actually living?


Lou


We are living as though we define ourselves and others on the basis of the differences about which we argue.  We were to approach those conversations on the basis of our oneness in Christ, we would look a little more like sisters and brothers who really do love each other and a lot less like a hopelessly dysfunctional family.

Team Hesse

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2013, 12:19:59 PM »
Pr. Hesse - I'm not asking for resolutions on unity.  I'm suggesting that we all behave with confidence that we are one in Christ, irrespective of the things that divide us.


So what would that look like? How would it be different than what we are actually living?


Lou


We are living as though we define ourselves and others on the basis of the differences about which we argue.  We were to approach those conversations on the basis of our oneness in Christ, we would look a little more like sisters and brothers who really do love each other and a lot less like a hopelessly dysfunctional family.



This strikes me as terribly utopian. In this I agree with Oprah--if you think your family is not dysfunctional--you haven't looked very deeply at it.....


It is not possible, even in a nuclear family, for all members to agree on what a family ethos may be. This is why families grow apart and end up recombining and redefining themselves from generation to generation. Family itself is a considerably fluid abstract in our time.


Lou




Johan Bergfest

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2013, 12:44:00 PM »


This strikes me as terribly utopian. In this I agree with Oprah--if you think your family is not dysfunctional--you haven't looked very deeply at it.....


It is not possible, even in a nuclear family, for all members to agree on what a family ethos may be. This is why families grow apart and end up recombining and redefining themselves from generation to generation. Family itself is a considerably fluid abstract in our time.



Utopia strikes me as a very peculiar way of thinking about the new heaven and the new earth which God has promised and my suggestion that we aspire to live today out of the promise that already has been fulfilled in eternity.  I am not suggesting that we agree with one another on everything.  I am suggesting that we start treating our sisters and brothers as sisters and brothers and stop treating them as adversaries.  And, in all honesty, I have great difficulty understanding why a brother in Christ would have such difficulty comprehending that.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2013, 04:03:56 PM »
Pr. Hesse - I'm not asking for resolutions on unity.  I'm suggesting that we all behave with confidence that we are one in Christ, irrespective of the things that divide us.


So what would that look like? How would it be different than what we are actually living?


Lou


We are living as though we define ourselves and others on the basis of the differences about which we argue.  We were to approach those conversations on the basis of our oneness in Christ, we would look a little more like sisters and brothers who really do love each other and a lot less like a hopelessly dysfunctional family.



This strikes me as terribly utopian. In this I agree with Oprah--if you think your family is not dysfunctional--you haven't looked very deeply at it.....


It is not possible, even in a nuclear family, for all members to agree on what a family ethos may be. This is why families grow apart and end up recombining and redefining themselves from generation to generation. Family itself is a considerably fluid abstract in our time.


Even in dysfunctional families, the members recognize that they are family. They have a connection with each other that they don't have with other people.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Team Hesse

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2013, 06:28:39 PM »


This strikes me as terribly utopian. In this I agree with Oprah--if you think your family is not dysfunctional--you haven't looked very deeply at it.....


It is not possible, even in a nuclear family, for all members to agree on what a family ethos may be. This is why families grow apart and end up recombining and redefining themselves from generation to generation. Family itself is a considerably fluid abstract in our time.



Utopia strikes me as a very peculiar way of thinking about the new heaven and the new earth which God has promised and my suggestion that we aspire to live today out of the promise that already has been fulfilled in eternity.  I am not suggesting that we agree with one another on everything.  I am suggesting that we start treating our sisters and brothers as sisters and brothers and stop treating them as adversaries.  And, in all honesty, I have great difficulty understanding why a brother in Christ would have such difficulty comprehending that.


New heaven and new earth are utopia....bit it takes the death of the old to bring in the new. Christ said "take up your cross and follow me." To expect any more than a foretaste of the feast to come in this old world that is approaching final judgement is to disavow the eschatological boundary. To do so is deeply problematic because this side of the boundary we continue to see through the glass darkly. We have faith, not sight. We can be wrong....and often are.


Lou

Johan Bergfest

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2013, 08:00:34 PM »
We can take up our cross and follow Jesus and also live out of our promised future.  Unless we live out of that future, I don't know how we can bear the weight of that cross.  Moreover, when we insist on defining one another by our differences, in a way we imply that that future is not for those with whom we disagree.

Norman Teigen

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2013, 06:29:25 AM »
I am grateful to Father Slusser for his kind and gracious invitation to attend this lecture.  I plan to attend.
Norman Teigen

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2013, 10:06:21 AM »
I am open to reading suggestions in preparation for my attending this lecture next week.  I do not have access to a theological library.
Norman Teigen

Michael Slusser

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2013, 09:30:16 AM »
Vatican City, 17 January 2013 (VIS) Ė Today the Pope received in audience an ecumenical delegation from the Lutheran Church of Finland during their annual pilgrimage to Rome on the occasion of the feast of Saint Henry of Uppsala, patron saint of Finland.

The Holy Father once again showed his pleasure in receiving the delegates on this traditional visit, observing that it was also fitting that the meeting took place on the eve of the celebrations to take place during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The theme for this year's ecumenical Week of Prayer, "What does God require of us?", is taken from a passage in the book of the prophet Micah.

"The Prophet," said the Pope, "makes clear, of course, what the Lord requires of us. It is 'to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God'. The Christmas season that we have just celebrated reminds us that it is God who from the beginning has walked with us and who, in the fullness of time, took flesh in order to save us from our sins and to guide our steps in the way of holiness, justice and peace."

"Walking humbly in the presence of the Lord, in obedience to his saving word and with trust in his gracious plan, serves as an eloquent image not only of the life of faith, but also of our ecumenical journey on the path towards the full and visible unity of all Christians. On this path of discipleship, we are called to advance together along the narrow road of fidelity to Godís sovereign will in facing whatever difficulties or obstacles we may eventually encounter."

Therefore, "to advance in the ways of ecumenical communion," the pontiff emphasized, "demands that we become ever more united in prayer, ever more committed to the pursuit of holiness, and ever more engaged in the areas of theological research and cooperation in the service of a just and fraternal society. Along this way of spiritual ecumenism, we truly walk with God and with one another in justice and love, for, as the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification affirms: 'We are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works'."

The Pope concluded his address expressing the desire that the Finnish delegation's visit to Rome "will help to strengthen ecumenical relations between all Christians in Finland. Let us thank God for all that has been achieved so far and let us pray that the Spirit of truth will guide Christís followers in your country towards ever greater love and unity as they strive to live in the light of the Gospel and to bring that light to the great moral issues facing our societies today. By walking together in humility along the path of justice, mercy and righteousness which the Lord has pointed out to us, Christians will not only dwell in the truth, but also be beacons of joy and hope to all those who are looking for a sure point of reference in our rapidly changing world."


Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Norman Teigen

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2013, 09:55:46 AM »
Thank you for this information and thank you for sending me the link to the Vatican document on the subject.

Any other suggestions?

norman61@icloud.com
Norman Teigen

Michael Slusser

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2013, 02:52:04 PM »
From our local Catholic paper (appears also to be syndicated):
http://thecatholicspirit.com/opinion/commentary/why-does-ecumenism-matter/

Author is Dr. Christian Washburn, a member of the international Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue as well as of the US Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue. A brief description of the January 23 speaker at the University of Saint Thomas is attached to the article.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

cssml

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2013, 11:42:53 AM »
In his Sunday Angelus,  Pope Benedict talks again on Christian unity:

"One of the most serious sins that disfigures the face of the Church is its visible lack of unity, especially the historical divisions that have separated Christians and which have not yet been completely resolved."
 
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope:-Historical-divisions-among-Christians-one-of-the-most-serious-sins-that-disfigure-Church-26913.html


Norman Teigen

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2013, 08:48:19 AM »
I was very pleased to attend the lecture of Father Jared Weeks at St. Thomas University in St. Paul last night.  The lecture was part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  I attended the lecture because of the kind invitation of Father Michael Slusser whom I  met via ALPB.

I am a layman and I come from the very conservative theological tradition of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.  I realize now that I am 70 years old that the conservative Lutheran theological tradition might possibly have some deficiencies of perspective.   Even at my advanced age it is possible to learn something new.  What better way to gain perspective by attending a lecture at one of the most distinguished universities in this metropolitan area.

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod
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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2013, 09:29:36 AM »
I realize now that I am 70 years old that the conservative Lutheran theological tradition might possibly have some deficiencies of perspective.   

What "deficiencies of perspective" have you discovered?  Are they just in your synodical tradition (ELS), in the Lutheran church in general, or in the theological essence of Lutheranism itself?
Pastor Don Engebretson
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vicarbob

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2013, 09:39:13 AM »
Mr Teigen, thank you for your comments on your experience and reflection after participating in that lecture. God bless you and Fr Michael for the kind invitation.
pax
Bob+