Reformed-Pentecostal dialogue considers impact of eschatology on mission

 — December 5, 20185 décembre 2018

The fifth session of the current Reformed-Pentecostal Dialogue took place in Legon, Accra, Ghana, under the theme Ministering to the Needs of the World: Mission and Eschatology
The fifth session of the current Reformed-Pentecostal Dialogue took place in Legon, Accra, Ghana, under the theme Ministering to the Needs of the World: Mission and Eschatology
By Phil Tanis, WCRC

The fifth session of the current Reformed-Pentecostal Dialogue took place in Legon, Accra, Ghana, under the theme “Ministering to the Needs of the World: Mission and Eschatology.”

At the beginning and end of each day, participants, representing the WCRC and various classical Pentecostal churches, gathered to pray, sing, read and reflect upon the Bible together. This time of sharing in spirituality and worship helped contextualize the discussions that took place and built greater community between participants.

This year the dialogue focused on the significance of eschatology—the theology of the end of time and return of Jesus Christ—to mission. To open the discussion, Karla Ann Koll (Reformed) and Van Johnson (Pentecostal) presented papers reflective of the teachings of their faith communities. Participants then raised questions and responded in a free-ranging discussion intended to tease out common interests and concerns, while noting differences in understanding.

In her presentation, Koll said that Reformed Christians, like Pentecostals, anticipate the return of Jesus Christ to bring the reign of God in its fullness. Their primary focus has been on sharing the gospel and caring for the lives and well-being of others in ways they believe are in keeping with that reign.

Following the teachings of John Calvin regarding the sovereignty of God and the belief that God’s redemptive intention encompasses all of creation, the Reformed have been less focused upon events surrounding the Second Coming and more on the call for the church to minister until Christ’s return, Koll said. They maintain that the Holy Spirit empowers them both to promote the gospel and work to transform culture and society in keeping with Christ’s will.

Johnson made the case that both time and space have challenged the way Pentecostals think about and act upon their understanding of eschatology. Pentecostals believe that God has been restoring the purity, passion and power of the church through the Holy Spirit in anticipation of the imminent return of Christ and the inauguration of his kingdom.

Like the early church, their expectation that time was short before Christ’s return has motivated much of their mission activity in which they have emphasized the proclamation of the gospel to the “lost.” Yet, after a century of existence, Pentecostal views of time are changing, leading to shifts in how they view mission, Johnson said. If they have more time to live and act, their view of the world around them must be taken more seriously than in the past. While continuing to affirm the “soon return” of the Lord, their notion of mission has broadened beyond proclamation or evangelization alone to include other missional activities. Now, mission includes a range of activities extending from evangelism to creation care as signs of the future kingdom.

Dialogue participants met with the president and faculty of the Protestant, ecumenical Trinity Theological Seminary to immerse themselves in something of Ghana’s church life, larger history and culture. The group was welcomed by church leaders from the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in the home of Setri and Akpene Nyomi.

On Sunday, participants worshiped with the Faith Congregation (PCG). The lectionary reading from 1 Thessalonians 3:8-13 seemed to be especially relevant to the discussions of dialogue participants. Following the service, they were graciously hosted for a meal as guests of the church. They also traveled to the Elmina slave castle for a day of reflection on past and present failures of the church to live out the gospel.

The dialogue, held 29 November to 4 December 2018, was hosted by the WCRC.

The Reformed team included: Karla Ann Koll, co-chair (Presbyterian Church (USA)/Costa Rica), Hanns Lessing (executive secretary for communion and theology, WCRC), Setri Nyomi (Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana), Bas Plaisier (Protestant Church in the Netherlands) and Gabriella Rácsok (Reformed Church in Hungary).

The Pentecostal team included: Cecil M. Robeck, co-chair (Assemblies of God, USA), Teresa Chai (Assemblies of God, Malaysia), David Daniels (Church of God in Christ, USA), Jacqueline Grey (Australian Christian Churches), Jean-Daniel Plüss (Swiss Pentecostal Mission) and Van Johnson (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada).

Posted: December 5, 2018 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: dialogue, eschatology, mission, Pentecostal World Fellowship, World Communion of Reformed Churches
Transmis : 5 décembre 2018 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : dialogue, eschatology, mission, Pentecostal World Fellowship, World Communion of Reformed Churches

Cannabis use for fun ‘sinful behaviour,’ B.C. and Yukon bishops tell Catholics

 — December 5, 20185 décembre 2018

Catholic bishops in British Columbia and Yukon have endorsed medical marijuana use, but condemned recreational pot smoking as contrary to the teachings of the church.

In a letter posted online in late November, the bishops — six from B.C. and one from Whitehorse — warn that “the mere fact that an activity is made legal by the government does not automatically mean that it is morally acceptable.” Recreational cannabis became legal in Canada on Oct. 17, one of the signature accomplishments of Justin Trudeau’s government.

But the letter from all six B.C. bishops and the one Yukon bishop distinguishes between therapeutic uses, such as controlling for pain and nausea, and toking for fun. In the former, the letter states, impairment “can be accepted as a foreseen but unintended secondary effect of the drug’s beneficial use.” Medical cannabis has been legal in Canada for nearly two decades.
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Batholomew, ”Ukraine has the right to be granted autocephaly”

 — December 1, 20181 décembre 2018

After the vespers in honour of St Andrew, patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Patriarch Bartholomew received an international Orthodox interparliamentary delegation of which 24 States are members, presided over by the Russian Gavrilof, who took part to the festivities.

The Patriarch told those present that the work of the Synod had just been completed and that the Tomos is being prepared for granting the autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church. In this context the new statute of the Ukrainian Church was discussed, a subject that will continue during the Ukrainian Synod in December during which it is hoped that all the Orthodox parties will participate, to arrive at the election of the primate and grant the so-called Tomos. A new church will thus be added to the existing 14: “It is a purely administrative fact that does not affect the magisterium of the Orthodox Church”, Bartholomew explained.
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Multiple denominations work together at Horizon College and Seminary

 — November 24, 201824 novembre 2018

Jeromey Martini, president of Horizon College & Seminary. Photo: Darlene Polachic, Saskatoon StarPhoenixHorizon College and Seminary in Saskatoon is a prime example of the time-honoured claim that nothing stays the same.

Originally established in Star City, Sask., in 1935 by the Pentecostal denomination as Bethel Bible Institute, the Bible school relocated to Avenue A in Saskatoon in 1937. Following a move to Jackson Avenue in the 1960s, it was renamed Central Pentecostal College. In 2007 it became Horizon College and Seminary.

In 2016, Horizon launched Horizon 8.0 and became a Canadian pioneer in adopting a system of competency-based Christian education.

Horizon president Jeromey Martini explains competency-based education (CBE) as one that bases its teaching curriculum on actual roles in society and then assesses students on their ability to perform those roles.
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Roman Catholic-United Church Dialogue Releases Report on Climate Change

 — July 18, 201818 juillet 2018

The Roman Catholic‒United Church of Canada Dialogue has released a report on climate change entitled The Hope within Us. Since October 2012, the Roman Catholic‒United Church of Canada Dialogue has met eight times to explore our churches’ responses to the ecological crisis, with particular attention to climate change. The report explores the spiritual resources of our common tradition for addressing climate change and working for ecological justice. While not turning away from the real dangers of the ecological crises, the dialogue provides a vision of hope, based on our common Christian faith, that a new relationship between humanity and creation is possible.
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Le Dialogue de l’Église catholique romaine et de l’Église Unie a publié un rapport sur le changement climatique intitulé l’Espérance en nous

 — July 18, 201818 juillet 2018

Le Dialogue de l’Église catholique romaine et de l’Église Unie a publié un rapport sur le changement climatique intitulé l’Espérance en nous. Depuis octobre 2012, le Dialogue de l’Église catholique romaine et de l’Église Unie du Canada s’est réuni huit fois pour examiner les réponses de nos Églises à la crise écologique, en portant une attention particulière au changement climatique. Le rapport explore les ressources spirituelles de notre tradition commune pour faire face au changement climatique et travailler pour la justice écologique. Sans fermer les yeux sur les dangers réels des crises écologiques, le dialogue offre une vision d’ espérance fondée sur notre foi chrétienne commune, voulant qu’une nouvelle relation entre l’humanité et la création soit possible.
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ARCIC agreed statement on ecclesiology: Walking Together on the Way

 — July 3, 20183 juillet 2018

Members of the third-phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission met in the central German city of Erfurt in May 2017 for their seventh meeting. During their meeting they completed the agreed statement on ecclesiology. Photo: ARCICThe Third Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) has issued its first agreed statement with the title Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal. Since its first meeting in 1970, ARCIC has published thirteen agreed statements. The third phase of the dialogue began in 2011 with the dual mandate to explore “the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching.” The current document completes the first part of this mandate.

Walking Together on the Way employs the method of Receptive Ecumenism to examine the structures by which Catholics and Anglicans order and maintain communion at the local, regional and universal level. It examines common theological principles that Anglicans and Catholics share, and the differentiated structures, based on these principles, by which they make decisions. This method invites both traditions to repentance and conversion, by looking at what is underdeveloped or wounded in themselves. It is also predicated on the belief that in our dialogue partner we meet a community in which the Holy Spirit is alive and active. We can therefore ask firstly, where our communities are in need of reform, and, secondly, what we can learn from the our dialogue partner to help us in this growth. The Commission described this process as “receptive learning.”
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German bishop announces communion for Protestant spouses in ‘individual cases’

 — July 1, 20181 juillet 2018

Archbishop Hans-Josef Becker of Paderborn. Credit: Wikimedia / Fotostudio Leninger PaderbornAccording to a regional newspaper report, Archbishop Hans-Josef Becker of Paderborn has decided to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics living in his diocese to receive holy Communion “in individual cases.”

As the newspaper Westfalenblatt reported, the archbishop told his presbyteral council on June 27 that the document formerly known as a “pastoral handout,” which the German bishops’ conference has re-published as “pastoral guidance” following discussions with Rome, offers “spiritual help for the decision of conscience in individual cases accompanied by pastoral care.”

“At the meeting of the Council of Priests of the Archdiocese of Paderborn on 27 June 2018, I presented my interpretation [of the document] and formulated the expectation that all pastors in the Archdiocese of Paderborn will familiarize themselves intensively with the guidance document and will act in a spirit of pastoral responsibility,” the archbishop told the newspaper.
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Pope Francis: walking together is “an act of obedience to the Lord and love for our world”

 — June 21, 201821 juin 2018

Matildes Colombo, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia, presents a drawing to Pope Francis at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCCPope Francis has given a strong message about the ecumenical journey during a visit to the World Council of Churches‘ headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. In a homily during a prayer service in the Ecumenical Centre, Pope Francis spoke about the journey towards Christian unity and the pitfalls on the way. “For us as Christians, walking together is not a ploy to strengthen our own positions, but an act of obedience to the Lord and love for our world,” he said. “Let us ask the Father to help us walk together all the more resolutely in the ways of the Spirit.

“I wanted to take part personally in the celebrations marking this anniversary of the World Council, not least to reaffirm the commitment of the Catholic Church to the cause of ecumenism and to encourage cooperation with the member churches and with our ecumenical partners.
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Pope says local bishop should make the call on intercommunion

 — June 21, 201821 juin 2018

After a day of touting ways in which Christians might share in greater unity, that commitment to coming together didn’t prevent Pope Francis from backing the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog in its decision to insist on caution regarding proposals for intercommunion with Protestants.

On a return flight to Rome on Thursday from a day-long ecumenical pilgrimage to Geneva, Francis said he supported the Vatican’s Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal-elect Luis Ladaria, in requiring a rethink of a draft proposal from the German bishops that would allow for non-Catholics to receive communion under certain conditions.

Among other items discussed during the 30-minute in-flight press conference was the global migrant and refugee situation – where, once again, Francis reiterated his support for the U.S. Catholic bishops in opposing the Trump administration’s hard line – as well as the challenges of nuclear weapons.
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