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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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Looking back

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009

We’ve heard that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Christians, though, repeat history on purpose in order to remember it.  We tell and retell the story of Jesus – including, for some of us, an actual recreation of Christ’s sacrifice – on a regular basis. And we do it because we believe we’ve been told to, as Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

One of the conflicts among the churches has to do with preservation of the faith from the earliest days of the church. We all agree that we want to live lives as close to that of the first disciples as we can, following in the footsteps of those who knew Jesus. But which ways of worshiping, praying, serving or organizing our communities of faith are the most true? What elements of their common life are the most important? 

On Sunday morning at the Orthodox worship, I couldn’t help but wonder if Jesus himself would recognize the proceedings. But that's a Protestant perspective. The truth is, Orthodox Christians believe they have upheld the traditions of the apostles from the beginning. So do Roman Catholics, though with some variations from the Orthodox. Protestants believe the church strayed from its original faithfulness and needed to reform, but would now claim their way of understanding Christianity follows the traditions of early church, too.

Who’s right? Are we all right? Are some more right than others? Are none of us right?

It is clear that all of us seek to be faithful, that all of us want to follow Jesus, and that none of us is above error and correction. At the very least, the fact that each of us is equally convinced of our faithfulness should evoke one quite particular response.

Humility.

Comments Comments

jane.stranz@gmail.com said on Oct 15, 2009
Aimee thanks so much for this post and for that last word. Humility is I think the word that has most come to my mind since I started working full time in ecumenism - perhaps it also has something to do with the "ecumenical Attitude" that our GS elect is keen to promote. our conversations are complex though when on one side you have "semper reformanda" and the other the church is without sin. I suppose Mary Tanner would say that we need to go on having transformative conversations
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