The Right Rev. John Shelby Spong wrote or said that ‘All religion seems to need to prove that it’s the only truth. And that’s where it turns demonic. Because that’s when you get religious wars and persecutions and burning heretics at the stake.’ There is a lot of truth in that!
Yesterday we had opportunity to meet for lunch with our brothers and sisters from other denominations in this area of Tecumseh and east Windsor. The event was organized by Jerry Marcotte, the Grand Knight at the Tecumseh Knights of Columbus. It was a good beginning to what I hope will be a long relationship. Mother Teresa said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” In getting to know our sisters and brothers from the other churches in the area we are making important progress in understanding that we do ‘belong to each other.’ I think it becomes difficult to be at peace or be in a place of respect with the other when we ignore each other. Now I mean that in no pejorative sense at all. I am simply stating the painfully obvious. Our respective Christian communities chug along week to week and we allow ourselves, in our busyness, to pay little to no regard to what is happening with our Christian siblings. Like any family, if there is no effort to keep in touch and work through the interpersonal dynamics of being a family, we lose sight of the fact that we belong to each other. God has, in fact, given us each other that together we might flourish the gospel of love, justice and redemption for all persons. I was pleased to have met Christian leaders from Tecumseh United, Calvary Community Church, and St. Anne’s, Banwell Community Church, St. Gregory the Great, Eastwood Salvation Army Citadel, Atonement Parish, and of course I represented St. Mark’s by-the-Lake. You may be asking about Lakeshore St. Andrew’s. They declined the invitation. While sad that they could not see value in this, we moved ahead in prayer with those who did have an interest. It was a good beginning place and not a destination that we were headed toward. On Friday March 07 at 1:30 PM we will be gathering for the World Day of Prayer, Plan on joining us if you can. This too will be a small step on what I hope will be a continuing journey of getting to know our sisters and brothers better. We will have to be patient but I am certain that if we work at it, we can become better at living our sense of ministry with all those who follow the Great Nazarene who brings great hope and promise to us all, Jesus the Christ!
There is a great little Yoruba Proverb from Nigeria that goes like this:
The snail has no hands,
The snail has no feet,
Gently the snail climbs the tree.
Gently now we climb the tree of Christian Ecumenism. Let’s pray that we can all work to better know each other and better look after each other as let us never forget that ‘we belong to each other.’
Let me say one more time – THANK YOU TO JERRY MARCOTTE AND THE K OF C FOR YOUR KINDNESS AND HOSPITALITY. IT WAS A GREAT DAY!