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We are the church
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009
In the past 24 hours, I’ve met dozens of new and old friends: Janet from Belfast, Christian from Hamburg, Lucy from Nairobi, Alfred from Paraguay, Bruce from Quebec, Odair from Brazil, Nevell from Florida. It’s always such a privilege to be in an international setting and to connect with people from all over the world. It makes the earth seem somehow a lot bigger and a lot smaller at the same time.
We just heard an address by His All Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch. I posted about him earlier. It turns out this is a Big Deal for Crete – like having a papal audience. Bartholomew came with a host of police and secret service types (they even had those little ear buds with the curly cord running down their backs), news cameras, and a lot of Orthodox priests dressed to the nines. I’ll try to post some photos of the various liturgical garb later.
Bartholomew has been a long supporter of ecumenism and the unity of the church, and his address was great. As I mentioned, he's known as the Green Patriarch for his environmentalism. “We must never forget that the world is inherited,” he said. “It is a gift from above, offered as a means of communion with God.”
We were also asked to pray for the next round of Roman Catholic/Orthodox dialogue in Cyprus, which will deal with the thorny issue of papal and patriarchate authority (otherwise known as “who’s in charge?”). These questions - which have kept the churches separated for 1,000 years - won’t be solved quickly or easily.
But it’s nice to know even if it takes a thousand years, we can and do look back at our past (the word repent, by the way, means “to turn around”) and do what we can to make amends. Praise God that in Christ, there is always, always the chance to start life anew.
Posted by Aimee Moiso