Home
Bulletin Letter
St. Paul Home
Calendar
Bulletins
Bulletin Letters
Jan. 17, '10
Jan. 10, '10
Dec. 27, '09
Dec. 20, '09
Dec. 13, '09
Dec. 6, '09
Nov. 29, '09
Nov. 22, '09
Nov. 15, '09
Nov. 8, '09
Nov. 1, '09
Oct. 25, '09
Oct. 18, '09
Oct. 11, '09
Oct. 4, '09
Sept. 27, '09
Sept. 20, '09
Sept. 13, '09
Sept. 6, '09
Aug. 30, '09
Aug. 23, '09
Aug. 16, '09
Aug. 9, '09
Aug. 2, '09
July 26, '09
July 19, '09
July 12, '09
July 5, '09
June 28, '09
June 21, '09
June 14, '09
June 7, '09
May 31, '09
May 24, '09
May 17, '09
May 10, '09
May 3, '09
Apr. 26, '09
Apr. 19, '09
Apr. 12, '09
Apr. 5, '09
Mar. 29, '09
Mar. 22, '09
Mar. 15, '09
Mar. 8, '09
Mar. 1, '09
Feb. 22, '09
Feb. 15, '09
Feb. 8, '09
Feb. 1, '09
Jan. 25, '09
Jan. 18, '09
Jan. 11, '09
Jan. 4, '09
Dec. 21, '08
Dec. 14, '08
Dec. 7, '08
Nov. 30, '08
Nov. 23, '08
Nov. 16, '08
Nov. 9, '08
Nov. 2, '08
Oct. 26, '08
Oct. 19, '08
Oct. 12, '08
Oct. 5, '08
Sept. 28, '08
Sept. 21, '08
Sept. 14, '08
Aug. 31, '08
Aug. 24, '08
Aug. 17, '08
Aug. 10, '08
Aug. 3, '08
July 27, '08
July 20, '08
July 13, '08
July 6, '08
June 29, '08
June 22, '08
June 15, '08
June 8, '08
June 1, '08
May 25, '08
May 18, '08
May 11, '08
May 4, '08
Apr. 27, '08
Apr. 20, '08
Apr. 13, '08
Apr. 6, '08
Mar. 30, '08
Mar. 23, '08
Mar. 16, '08
Mar. 9, '08
Mar. 2, '08
Fec. 24, '08
Fe. 17, '08
Feb. 10, '08
Feb. 3, '08
Jan. 27, '08
Jan. 20, '08
Jan. 13, '08
Jan. 6, '08

Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
January 24, 2010

As We Close the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
(A Brief reflection on the importance of Unity)

    During the past century reconciliation between Christians has taken on very different forms.  Spiritual ecumenism has shown how important prayer is for Christian unity.  Great energy has been put into theological research which has led to a large number of doctrinal accords.  Practical cooperation between churches in the social field has given birth to fruitful initiatives.  Alongside these major accomplishments, the question of mission has lad a particular place. 

    Not everyone naturally makes the link between missionary endeavour and the desire for Christian Unity.  Yet surely the missionary commitment of the church must go hand in hand with its ecumenical commitment:  Because of our baptism we are already one body and we are called to live in communion.  God has made us brothers and sisters in Christ.  Is this not the fundamental witness that we are called to?

    Historically the fact that the question of Christian unity was often first raised by missionaries was for practical reasons.  This was often simply so as to avoid unnecessary competition in the face of enormous human and material need.  The territory to be evangelized was shared out and occasionally attempts were made to go further than having activities running in parallel to one another and to favor some common projects.  Missionaries from different churches might for example combine their resources to undertake a new translation of the bible and this cooperation in the service of the Word of God led to reflections on the divisions between Christians. 

    Without denying the rivalries that existed between missionaries sent by different churches, it should also be recognized that those who were first in the mission field were also the first to recognize the tragedy of Christian division.  Europe had got used to divisions between churches but the scandal of disunity seemed dreadful to missionaries who were announcing the gospel to people who had known nothing of Christ until then.  Of course the different church divisions which have marked Christian history did have theological reasons, but they were also marked by the historical, political, and intellectual context...which gave them birth.  Could it be justified to export these divisions to people who were discovering Christ for the first time?

    In the midst of their fresh beginnings the new local churches could hardly fail to notice the gap between the message of love which they wanted to live out and the actual separation between Christ’s disciples.  How can you make others understand the reconciliation offered in Jesus if the baptized themselves ignore or fight one another?  How can Christian groups who lived in mutual hostility preach one Lord, one faith and one baptism in a credible way?  As we bring this week to a close perhaps we could make an effort to do some serious reflection on our need for unity for all concerned.