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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.


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Ecumenical English

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009

Being a native English speaker at meetings like this is definitely an advantage, given most of the procedures take place in English. There is simultaneous translation (with little headsets like the UN) to French and Spanish, and periodically at this meeting to Greek and German, but mostly we work in English.

Over time, we develop what we tenderly refer to as “ecumenical English” – a mishmash of different accents and idioms, and the gradual learning that when we use words like “evangelical,” “liturgy,” or even “church,” we don’t always mean the same things.

And we also learn new words, occasionally through simultaneous translation offered by people for whom English may or may not be a first language. Yesterday, while listening to translation of a presentation given in Greek, I smiled when the translator, struggling to keep up and trying to express the intent of the speaker, offered the word “fructiforous.” I’m guessing he meant “fruitful.”

But here’s hoping that our work here might not just be fruitful, but “fructiforous.” 

Comments Comments

Brian Paulson said on Oct 8, 2009
We are glad you are there Aimee. May your time and your journeys be fructiforous!
Irene said on Oct 8, 2009
Jason Belk said on Oct 8, 2009
That's a great story, thanks for sharing!
Avril said on Oct 10, 2009
I remember speaking "ecumenical English" at Bossey and how it became second nature. Coming back to Australia it took a while to get back to my usual speed and vocabulary.
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