News Sandy's Comments

Enlivening the Ecumenical Journey

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

“I ask not only on behalf of these but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21

There is a spirit that enlivens the ecumenical journey. It captured in the word ‘unity’. Jesus prays for us, and asks ‘that we might be one, and a few words later, ‘so that the world may believe’. He goes further and describes the nature of unity as flowing from the unity shared with the Father and extends it to us, ‘so that they may be one, as we are one’.

Unity does not mean that difference is dissolved or ignored. Jesus and the Father are different. It is the unity Jesus has with the Father that gives depth and integrity to Jesus’ ministry. People are led to respond and encounter Jesus as Son of God and Risen Christ.

Unity serves as both an opportunity and an invitation. The opportunity for us is to move beyond a focus on difference to celebrate all that we have in common in the Christian community. As we do this there is a joy find in each other, and a shared witness the living Christ.

Accepting the invitation to unity leads us to examine ourselves and reflect on barriers to our being more fully united. The fruit of our examination may lead to a conclusion that the differences we share, are not important saying yes to the invitation to unity.

After all unity is not a quest for uniformity. Nor is unity to be fully found through a process of negotiation.

Unity is a spiritual practice of learning and discovery, undergirded by prayer. Our sharing in the week of prayer for Christian Unity nurtures our unity.

Rev John Gilmore

NCCA President