Dick Hunt's Blog

July 3, 2012

Ecumenical, So The World Will Know

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 9:43 pm

Ecumenical, So The World Will Know

That Jesus Christ Has Said

“I And The Father  Are One”.

by Dick Hunt, July 3rd, 2012.

 

The word, ‘Ecumenical’ refers to the essential need for the Church, which is the ‘Body of Christ’ to come together in Witness to the world that we are called to speak with one voice and Worship and serve in the closest fellowship possible in this world of great need for unity of purpose and Love, one for another and for the Hurting World around us.

 

My Father told me many years ago that he well remembered, as a boy, that the Anglican Priest and the Roman Catholic Priest met together in his Fathers’ hayfield in Worcestershire England and had a wonderful, joyful visit while they pitched hay with his Dad. While it is abundantly true that the Church has been and is still “fractured” for various reasons and habits, it is also true that holding on to our excuses is sinful and is excess baggage that stops us in our efforts to effectively share the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

In St. John, Chapter 17:22-23, we read,  ’the Glory which thou hast given to me, I have given to them, that they may be one; even as we are one, I in them and Thou in me, that they may become  perfectly one, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.” (Revised Standard Version)  That is plain truth and sets forth a most vital instruction to all the churches to mend our ways and heed the Truth as spoken clearly by our only Saviour Jesus, Ruler of all the Universe, the one who died in the agony of the Cross  to wipe away the sin of the world.

Some little hints of hope from the years past. I have been privileged to take part in functions and services in various churches by invitation of their Clergy. Example. Since I had training in Stewardship, I was asked by the United Church Presbytery meeting for Alberta, to speak on the subject of Church Finances.  For some reason, the Host Church handed out a summary of the givings, name by name in their Church. I glanced through it and noticed that their highest giving was very much less than Ruth and I had given. I mentioned that and a good number of people remarked on the matter to me after the meeting. The main speaker for the day was Dr. James Muchmore, Moderator of the United Church of Canada. A couple of days after, a friend from my home Parish asked the Steno at his place of work, who had been  there,  how the meeting had gone. She said it was great.  George said, “oh yes, you had your Moderator there”.  She said, “oh it wasn’t great because of him, we had Dick Hunt there”.

 

In Campbell River I was invited to Preach at Sunday Mass in the Roman Catholic Church which I was happy to do. I preached on the Readings for the day and my efforts were received with Gratitude. However, I had stirred up a storm with the People because I was not allowed to recieve my Communion with the Congregation. Just one of those things.

 

I am convinced that if we were more open to each other, we could be greatly enriched by sharing our resources and skills, our convictions, methods and historic forms of worship. We would all be enriched and the world would benefit from not being faced with our divisions and competitive activities to the embarassing extent that it is now. We have a long way to go and should be deeply grieving our lack of reponse to Jesus.

In a conversation with the Baptist Minister in a town in Alberta, we were looking at the contents of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. He told me that if we Anglicans ever wake up to what we have,  “we will all have to join you.” A little after that, following a Funeral service for a well known man in the Community in the Church where I ministered, a member of the Baptist Church stayed behind, weeping copiously. I knew her well and asked if I could help her.  She said, ‘Oh Dick the service was so beautiful. It was right out of the Bible”.  Recently, I met her niece here in Maple Ridge and I was able to reconnect with the Eva, through her.

 

Alo in the same town,  I had a phone call from the young Pastor of the Evangelical Free Church in the next town, with a request. ‘Could he visit with me ‘. He came and his request was to receive an Anglican Prayer book so he could use the Catechism as a basis for teaching the Faith to his youth group. I gladly supplied him with a copy.

 

In the same area, I had a call from the Student Minister of the United Church from the next town on the south to ask me if I could help him to get a copy of the United Church ‘Book of Common Order’.  It just happened that when my Bishop commissioned me as a Lay Reader, before I studied in Theological College, he also arranged with the United Church in my home town that I would look after their services for two years each Sunday from September 1st to May 1st, using a United Church form of worship.  So I had bought a copy of their service book, which I no longer needed and I gave it to him.  He was pleased.There are so many ways that various Churches can share, even now and as we do so we not only enrich our own lives but we also find we help each other.

I must confess that I struggle to share many of the blessings God has given me as I write my stories, as it must surely seem that I am “blowing my own horn”. I want to make it known that  all the  gifts God gives to me are for sharing, as widely as I can. I could not do anything unless God the giver of every good and perfect gift gave me the skills, the will, the health, the knowledge, the guidance, His Holy Bible, His Son Jesus and all the blessings he pours upon us to make it possible. One of the great Blessings I share is that my Daughter Joy has a great measure of skill in Computer use  and has taught me all I know to make  my sharing possible. Also, everyone I share my writings  with encourage me greatly by their responses and love. It really is much more blessed to give than to receive.

 

This world is literally infested with a philosopy that what gives us meaning for happiness is “Gimmee – Gimmee”.  In the world of Consumerism, we are constantly bombarded with the pressure to get and get and get and only give during the seasons ad infinitum when we are cajoled into believing we must buy the best and greatest gifts for family and friends.  We are told that we must not be stingy.  It is good for business and we must feed the marketers so that we can continue the round and round and round all over again. It is called brainwashing by thinking people.  And it feeds our greed for serving self instead of God and His People. And in the midst of all that, millions of people  around the world are dying for lack of food and shelter and medical care, while we battle the bulge from overeating.  How gross, how awesomely unwarranted, how unfair to little children who never have a life, even of a few years. And how tragic for the parents and grandparents who have to watch the Children die and in many cases watch them be murdered by terrorists.

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