Methodists Work, Pray for Christian Unity and Common Good

|TOP|As the end of the global Week of Prayer for Christian Unity nears, United Methodists around the world continue to pray alongside their fellow Christians while reflecting on the work they are doing to build greater Christian unity.

“When Christians speak with a common voice, we can always have a prophetic voice,” said Jorge Domingues, Assistant General Secretary, Mission Contexts and Relationships with the United Methodist Church.

Domingues elaborated on several key areas in which the United Methodist Church is working toward Christian unity through the work of the Church’s General Board of Global Ministries.

According to Domingues, the UMC has taken up the call for greater Christian unity particularly in the area of justice and human rights where it has been “historically involved in struggles against military dictatorships in Latin America through an ecumenical response”.

|QUOTE|“Second, where Christians, and the population in general, face hardships, for example, in Palestine, we have been working with other Christians that have been in the region for many centuries. Third, Christian unity is seen in the work of UMCOR with other Christians in disaster relief,” said Domingues.

The United Methodist Church has also taken significant steps to advance ecumenical exchange through the Global Ministries.

Earlier in the month, representatives of the Easter Orthodox Communion and the Pan Methodist family gathered in Crestwood, New York for a consultation on Orthodox and Wesleyan Spirituality as part of a series of ongoing dialogues co-sponsored by the Mission Evangelism Office.

The Rev. R. Randy Day, chief executive of the General Board of Global Ministries, recommitted Global Ministries to ecumenism during the consultation.

|AD|He said: "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an annual reminder of the many parts of the Christian church, the body of Jesus Christ in the world. We are constantly reminded of the breadth of our faith as in mission we relate to different cultures, traditions, and denominations.”

Rev. Larry Pickens is chief executive of the The United Methodist General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns which is working with Global Ministries to improve interfaith sharing.

“When you understand or expose yourself to the religious experience of others, you can see the truths in other faith experiences. You can see the truth in your own experience. You can ask, ‘What is meaningful? How do you view salvation? How do you address issues of death? And life?’ It is a rich opportunity for learning that doesn’t take away from who you are. You can maintain your own witness,” said Rev. Pickens.

As the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity approaches, Rev. Day summarised: “Ecumenical encounters and interchurch cooperation increase our experience of the power of God’s love today and across the centuries. We remember and are thankful for the hope that we may all be one in faith and service.”