Centennial of Southern California Ecumenical Council
Rev. Gene Boutilier September 27, 2012, Pasadena California
We are celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the founding of our state council of churches in California. We give thanks to the holy One, the source of all Christian unity, for the accom-plishments of this movement. We honor the collection of willing ecumenical activists who have accomplished a world of good together in God’s name. We will enjoy a few minutes of remembrance and nostalgia, a eulogy. (more)
Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen talks
with Jim Wallis about ice cream, Oreos -- and how the bloated military budget
is destroying our economy and making us all less secure.Read More An interview by Jim Wallis
The Southern California Ecumenical Council (SCEC) is a regional body representing churches, denominations, related ministries and other ecclesiastical communities who cooperate to promote responsible and creative expressions of our Christian unity and witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Through ecumenical networks and inter-religious partnerships SCEC works to foster religious understanding, to advocate for social justice and to advance the well-being of all people. The Week of Prayer Service and the Faith and Order Commission part of the current work of the Council.
In January 2012 we began celebrating a
century in California helping to knit Christian communities together. We can be
seen as a tapestry which reflects the diversity of our ever burgeoning region
while lifting up the unity of the Body of Christ. We pray and hope for the
Reign of God on earth when creation will be restored to peace and harmony.
Is there a word from
the ecumenical church in this election season?
One hundred years of ecumenical witness! On the one hand, it
impossible that Christians have been working together,
pursuing unity together, for a
century in this part of the country. On the other hand, it
seems as if John Huber himself
has been at this for about a hundred years! (more)
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO
TAKE “THE NEXT STEP” IN ECUMENICAL AND INTERFAITH RELATIONS?
It often seems, here in the second decade of the 21st
century, that the ecumenical and
interfaith movements are stuck in the status quo. During the
last half of the 20th
century, relations between many churches in this country
clearly improved. For much of
that time, ecumenism was fresh and exciting–the “great new
fact of our era,” as William
Temple called it–and there was a feeling that the ecumenical
movement was truly
moving. At the same time, dialogue and cooperation between
communities, especially Christians and Jews, took dramatic
steps forward. (more)
(A couple of chapters from my new book are next.
It is tentatively entitled, "Can a Renewal Movement Be Renewed?:
Questions for the Future of Ecumenism.")
WHAT CAN THE CHURCHES
SAY TOGETHER ABOUT THE CHURCH?
The central issue for the ecumenical movement is the nature
and purpose of the church.
Discussions of what is required for Christian unity, and
what unity might look like, are
discussions about the essence of the church. Dialogues
focused on sacraments or ministry or ways of making decisions are dealing with
practices and structures that help define the church. Acts of shared witness
and service undertaken through councils of churches reflect implicit convictions
about how the church relates to the world. A roll call of ecumenical
participants– Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Historic Protestant, Anabaptist,
Pentecostal–is shorthand for divergent conceptions of what the church is and
what it is for. (more)
January 27, 2012 – Week of Prayer for
Christian Unity Worship Service, at 3pm at the Episcopal Cathedral Center in
Doing Mission and Evangelism
We Christians believe that we are
called to fulfill God’s mission to the whole inhabited world (oikoumene). It is a mission that is holistic—feeding,
clothing, housing, healing, comforting, forgiving, reconciling—addressing the
various needs of people of every time and place. Part of this mission includes evangelism (orevangelization).
The concern of evangelism is to bring persons to a new life in Jesus Christ. Authentic life in Christ compels us to call
people into communion with God, with one another, and with creation. We followers of Christ are to proclaim by
word and example the Gospel—the Good News—of Christ and of God’s reign, bearing
witness to his saving death and resurrection for all.Read more