We have started to accept the fact that the usual landmarks that we pass along our normal journey through the Christian year are looking very different at the moment. Monday 18th January marks the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian unity and under normal circumstances I would have been involved in planning a series of events and activities to take place during the course of the week. I would have been trying to organise pulpit swaps in some Churches and this year none of that is happening. You may remember that only a couple of years ago we were centring our thoughts on the Anglican Methodist Covenant and like a lot of things that are happening in the world at the moment, Covid 19 has taken centre stage, almost to the exclusion of everything else.
Some of our Churches sit comfortably alongside our brothers and sisters in the other denominations, we have a good working relationship with neighbouring Churches, and we enjoy working together, in other places the process can be quite challenging, particularly when our boundaries don’t fit with the Anglican parishes. When I was ordained as a minister, I was received into full, worldwide connexion of the Methodist Church, I was also Ordained as a minister in the Church of Christ. The way I see it is that denomination is about how we interpret scripture and how we manage Church matters, as Christians, we are first and foremost member of the worldwide body of Christ.
My belief is that at a time like the present, Christian unity is important, I do not see that as meaning that we should all worship together, all do the same things in the same ways, I believe that there is a beauty in our different traditions, but as Christians we should join with our brothers and sisters across the world and pray for a Church working across the boundaries of denominations to bring God’s love to the people of the world. If you would like to download the booklet for the week it can be found at https://ctbi.org.uk/ please remember the people in your Church who don’t have access to the internet and maybe print them off a copy, just a word of warning, the document is forty pages long.
Please pray for the people in neighbouring Churches during the coming week, that we may continue to witness for Christ in our community.