An historic visit: Bishop Donald Bolen preaches at Circle Drive Alliance Church

 — Jan. 21, 201421 janv. 2014

In what might very well be a historic first, on Sunday January 19, Roman Catholic Bishop Donald Bolen was the guest preacher at one of Saskatoon’s flagship Evangelical churches, Circle Drive Alliance Church.

Pastor Eldon Boldt invited Bishop Bolen to preach some months ago and suggested January as a possible time. Boldt has been offering the congregation a series of sermons through January on the theme of Reconciliation so the bishop’s sermon on Christian unity was a natural fit. Nevertheless, the significance of the occasion was not lost on anyone, including the congregation of Holy Family Cathedral to whom Bolen had preached earlier in the morning. Before he left for Circle Drive Church, the Catholic congregation gave Bolen a rousing cheer amid their prayers for Christian unity and thanksgiving for their bishop’s ecumenical passion.

Listen to Bishop Bolen’s sermon at Circle Drive Alliance Church: Bishop Bolen begins at 11:50 in the recording

The invitation to Circle Drive Church did not come out of the blue. Pastor Boldt and Bishop Bolen have been friends for a number of years and have happily shared together in prayer and witness. They are both members of a joint consultation committee between the Catholic diocese and the Saskatoon Evangelical Ministers’ Fellowship (SEMF).

The relationship between Boldt and Bolen has developed within the context of a general warming of relations between the Evangelical and Catholic communities. This has been developing for many years. Indeed, Boldt’s uncle Walter Boldt was the pastor of Circle Drive Church from 1960-1989 and had a good friendship with Bishop James Mahoney, bishop from 1967-1995. Catholic ecumenical leaders began to visit SEMF in the early 1990s, and in 1994 SEMF began to send a representative to the local Church Leaders’ meetings. Pioneers of the relationship include Fr. Bernard de Margerie, Eric Stolte, Bill Blackmon, and Pastor Ken Rutherford.

Bolen has been bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Saskatoon since March 2010. Prior to that he was a priest of the Archdiocese of Regina. His ecumenical experience is prodigious, including a seven year term in Rome at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity where he was responsible for dialogue with Anglicans and Methodists as well as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. He continues to be active in ecumenical matters as a member of the PCPCU, co-chair of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission, the Methodist-Roman Catholic International Commission, and the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue of Canada, and as a member of the Evangelical-Roman Catholic International Consultation.

As Boldt reminded his congregation at Circle Drive Church, the Evangelical and Catholic community have now held two joint worship services. In March of 2011 and again in November 2013, the diocese and SEMF invited the Christian community to gather to witness to the unity we already share and to pray for growing fellowship between our churches. Since December 2011 , we have had a local dialogue team that explores issues that have historically divided our churches. Now in its third year, the dialogue is drafting a Common Statement of Faith. It is hoped that this statement will witness to the considerable faith in Jesus Christ shared between our communities.

Posted: Jan. 21, 2014 • Permanent link:
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, NewsIn this article: Catholic, Donald Bolen, Evangelicals
Transmis : 21 janv. 2014 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, NewsDans cet article : Catholic, Donald Bolen, Evangelicals

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