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One Church, indivisible: Aimee's blog from Crete

Once every five years or so, a group of about 120 men and women, pastors, laypersons, academics, and church leaders get together to talk about the issues that still divide the churches. It's called the Faith and Order Plenary Commission, and its next meeting will take place at the Orthodox Academy of Crete, Greece, 7-13 October 2009.oac

This year, I've been invited to go. 

And I'm writing a blog.


The Big Crete Meeting

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I'm learning about stem cells

Monday, Oct. 5, 2009

For the discussion on moral discernment in the churches, we're being divided into discussion groups to review case studies on current moral and ethical issues. I discovered on my first plane ride that I'm in the "stem cell" group.

So I've now read the stem cell case study, which is based on Protestant/Catholic debate on the issue in Germany. The other discussion groups will be looking at:

  • sexuality (including homosexuality, polygamy, divorce and abortion)
  • wealth, poverty, globalization, and the morality of economics
  • evangelism and proselytism, particularly by evangelical and Pentecostal churches in Orthodox areas of Eastern Europe

The idea behind the case studies is to examine the methods by which churches come to their positions. The goal is not to come to any conclusion about the particular issue, or even argue the merits of one side or another, but to look at how we can stay in dialogue even in the midst of disagreement with each other.

I'm particuarly excited about this area of the meeting, since my masters thesis was about how we talk to each other about difficult issues. Strategies for sticking together even when we don't agree would sure be useful these days, wouldn't they?

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