Since 2011, Evangelicals and Catholics in Saskatoon have been engaged in a theological dialogue. This builds on strong relationships built through the past decades by committed pastors, priests, and lay people who believe passionately that our communities can work more closely together and resolve many of the long-held suspicions of the other. After two years of regular discussions, the dialogue members decided that it would be useful to sketch out some of the areas where Catholics and Evangelicals already agree about the Christian faith. While not glossing over the considerable degree of difference that continues to exist between us, the dilaogue members contend that our common faith in Jesus Christ calls us to further dialogue, to common worship and service, and to common witness. The joint statement, entitled Called to Common Witness, is the work of the local dialogue between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Evangelical Ministers' Fellowship. It is a study document produced by participants in the dialogue and is here released so that it may be widely discussed. It is not an authoritative declaration of either the Catholic Church or of the Saskatoon Evangelical Ministers' Fellowship, who have each commended the document for study and reflection in local churches.


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Evangelical-Catholic ecumenical prayer service held at Saskatoon cathedral

Pastor Harry Strauss and Bishop Donald Bolen leading the Evangelical-Catholic worship service, March 22, 2011 in SaskatoonEvangelical and Catholic Christians recently gathered to pray and to celebrate their common faith in Jesus Christ at a joyful gathering at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Saskatoon.

Sharing song, scripture and prayer, some 300 people attended the groundbreaking gathering March 22, 2011. Pastor Harry Strauss of Forest Grove Community Church, representing the Saskatoon Evangelical Ministers Fellowship, and Bishop Donald Bolen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon presided together at the service. Welcoming all those attending from many denominations and local churches, Bolen described the origins of the event, which he traced back to the prayer and friendship experienced when three Catholic women joined those in the Evangelical community gathering regularly to pray for local Alliance Church Pastor Ken Rutherford, who was ill with cancer and who died in September 2010.

“It was Ken’s request that those who gathered would also pray for the wounded body of Christ in the city of Saskatoon,” said Bolen, who attended one of the prayer services, where he first met Ken’s wife Lenna. “Eventually I got to meet Pastor Ken as well, and I was stirred by his profound desire for unity and reconciliation.”

In a sermon shared with Bolen and Strauss, Lenna Rutherford recalled her husband’s experience of joy when he introduced two of his beloved friends to each other – something that also reflected his experience of connecting to other friends through a mutual love of Jesus Christ.

Christ had introduced Ken to many other dear friends. Ken found them in many shapes and presentations, they came from many pastoral and priestly places, in various denominations across the city and Ken found that he was called to see not from a worldly, or religious, or denominational point of view, but from Christ’s point of view, which was: “let me introduce you to someone I love so much that I died for them too.’”
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Posted: March 25, 2011 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=8878
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic DialogueIn this article: Catholic, dialogue, Evangelicals, prayer, Saskatoon, spiritual ecumenism
Transmis : 25 mars 2011 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=8878
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic DialogueDans cet article : Catholic, dialogue, Evangelicals, prayer, Saskatoon, spiritual ecumenism


A Pope for All Christians

When the new pope is consecrated, he will inherit a troubled global church. Internal scandal and unaddressed external problems pose great risks to the vitality of Catholicism. But the consequences of success or failure are huge for the church universal, the world’s 2.1 billion Christians of every denomination.This is more than a butterfly effect. Rome is not Las Vegas—what happens in Rome will not stay within the borders of Vatican City. One consequence of globalization is that the walls that have long divided Catholics from Orthodox, mainline Protestants, evangelicals, and Pentecostals are eroding.

Brian Stiller,a global ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance, commenting about Catholic and evangelical relations, wrote on his blog recently, “Not in 500 years have the two sides been so close and friendly.”
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Posted: March 13, 2013 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6552
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, OpinionIn this article: Catholic, ecumenism, Evangelicals, papacy
Transmis : 13 mars 2013 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6552
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, OpinionDans cet article : Catholic, ecumenism, Evangelicals, papacy


Evangelical, Catholic group working on common statement of faith

Pastor Harry Strauss and Nicholas JessonFor more than two years, a group of Evangelical and Catholic Christians in Saskatoon have been meeting to talk about their common faith in Jesus Christ, discussing what is shared, as well as examining where their understandings and convictions differ.

Formally appointed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Evangelical Ministers Fellowship, the local dialogue group is now in the process of writing a joint statement, just as a second Catholic-Evangelical worship service is being planned for Saskatoon Nov. 14.

It was after the first shared worship service in March 2011 at St. Paul’s Catholic Cathedral that a small group of church and ecumenical leaders met to try and find ways for the two traditions to further engage in common prayer, common witness, common mission and common study. A dialogue group was subsequently launched, with the first meeting held in December 2011.

Rev. Harry Strauss, associate pastor at Forest Grove Community Church (left) and a member of the Saskatoon Evangelical Ministers Fellowship, and Nicholas Jesson, ecumenical officer for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, are part of the 20-member dialogue group, which includes 10 representatives from each tradition.

Both Strauss and Jesson are also serving on a four-member committee that is now drafting a joint statement emerging from two years of conversation, study and relationship building.

Strauss describes the joint statement: “We confess our common faith, we acknowledge our differences and we affirm our common mission.”

Although the joint statement is not finished, there are plans to introduce portions at the 7 p.m. Nov. 14 Evangelical-Catholic worship service being hosted by Circle Drive Alliance Church, led by Pastor Eldon Bolt.
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Posted: October 30, 2013 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6911
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, NewsIn this article: Catholic, dialogue, ecumenism, Evangelicals, Saskatoon, witness
Transmis : 30 octobre 2013 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6911
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, NewsDans cet article : Catholic, dialogue, ecumenism, Evangelicals, Saskatoon, witness


“Fellowship of the Burning Heart” – second Catholic-Evangelical Shared Worship Service held, as local dialogue continues

Fr. Bernard de MargerieWhat one speaker described as a “fellowship of the burning heart” was evident Nov. 14 in the spirit of joy characterizing the second Catholic-Evangelical worship service to be held in Saskatoon, this time hosted by Circle Drive Alliance Church. The reference to the gospel story from Luke about the disciples on the road to Emmaus – who felt their hearts burning within them at the words of the resurrected Jesus Christ – resonated during the celebration of joy and thanksgiving for shared Christian faith and love of God’s word. The celebration began with Evangelical leaders entering down one aisle, and Catholic leaders down another. Rev. Eldon Boldt of Circle Drive Alliance and Saskatoon Catholic Bishop Donald Bolen then each lit a candle from a central candle, symbolizing Christ. When the celebration ended, the two leaders carried out the lit candles in the unity of a procession of both Catholic and Evangelical Christians down a single aisle.
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Posted: November 15, 2013 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=8886
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic DialogueIn this article: Catholic, dialogue, Evangelicals, prayer, Saskatoon, spiritual ecumenism
Transmis : 15 novembre 2013 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=8886
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic DialogueDans cet article : Catholic, dialogue, Evangelicals, prayer, Saskatoon, spiritual ecumenism


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

Bishop Donald Bolen of the Diocese of Saskatoon preaching at Circle Drive Alliance Church on January 19, 2014In 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.

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).
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Posted: January 21, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7204
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, NewsIn this article: Catholic, Donald Bolen, Evangelicals
Transmis : 21 janvier 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7204
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, NewsDans cet article : Catholic, Donald Bolen, Evangelicals


Saskatoon’s Bolen makes history preaching to Evangelicals

Bishop Donald Bolen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of SaskatoonPreaching to Evangelicals at the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity didn’t phase Saskatoon Bishop Don Bolen — much.

“I’m always a bit nervous. I’m very mindful of my own shortcomings and inadequacies whenever I preach anywhere,” Bolen told The Catholic Register a few days after his Jan. 19 appearance at Saskatoon’s Circle Drive Alliance Church. “I did prepare more because they told me I had 30 minutes. Sweet, but it did require more preparation.”

Bolen preached on the story of the woman caught in adultery and Jesus’ ruling under the law that the one who has no sin should cast the first stone.

“He chose a beautiful text,” said Circle Drive Pastor Eldon Boldt. “Jesus showed grace and it was mercy upon mercy upon mercy. One girl wrote me (after the service) and said, ‘I don’t know why, but I found myself choking back tears as the bishop spoke.’ Well, that’s just the Holy Spirit.”

A Catholic bishop preaching in an Evangelical church is a rarity. As a member of the Evangelical-Roman Catholic International Consultation, Bolen hasn’t heard of other bishops preaching to Evangelicals. He plans to bring it up when the official international dialogue meets in March.
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Posted: January 24, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7221
Categories: Catholic Register, Evangelical-Roman Catholic DialogueIn this article: Catholic, Donald Bolen, ecumenism, Evangelicals, WPCU
Transmis : 24 janvier 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7221
Catégorie : Catholic Register, Evangelical-Roman Catholic DialogueDans cet article : Catholic, Donald Bolen, ecumenism, Evangelicals, WPCU


Evangelicals and Catholics Together marks 20 years

Charles Colson, together with Father Richard John Neuhaus established Evangelicals and Catholics Together in 1994When evangelicals and Catholics set aside centuries of mutual suspicion 20 years ago, the idea was fairly simple: Even if we can’t always work together, at least let’s not work against each other. Now, two decades after the launch of the group Evangelicals and Catholics Together, relations between the two groups appear stronger than ever, forged by shared battles over abortion, same-sex marriage, religious freedom and immigration. A new pope is finding crossover appeal among evangelicals who share Pope Francis’ emphasis on evangelism and his distaste for the fancier trappings and authoritarianism of the papacy. “The first affirmation of Evangelicals and Catholics Together is that Jesus Christ is Lord, and there’s the source of our hope,” Catholic theologian Matthew Levering of Mundelein Seminary outside Chicago told the recent Q conference of evangelical movers and shakers in Nashville, Tenn. “This was an anchor for when they began to discover that we share the same gospel.”
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Posted: May 7, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7547
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, RNSIn this article: Catholic, dialogue, Evangelicals, Evangelicals and Catholics Together
Transmis : 7 mai 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7547
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, RNSDans cet article : Catholic, dialogue, Evangelicals, Evangelicals and Catholics Together


Pope’s friend Bishop Tony Palmer dies in motorcycle crash

Pope Francis’ friend Bishop Tony Palmer of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches (CEEC) died in England July 20 after his motorcycle collided with another vehicle.

According to e-mail reports obtained from The Ark Community he founded, three teams of surgeons tried to save Bishop Palmer’s life but he passed away in the evening, leaving behind his wife Emiliana and two teenaged children. Bishop Palmer was in his early 50s, and grew up in South Africa, though recently he had been living in England.

The bishop recently facilitated an historic private meeting of evangelical and charismatic leaders June 24 with Pope Francis at the Holy Father’s residence inside the Vatican. The two had become friends when Palmer was doing ecumenical work with charismatic Catholics in Buenos Aires.

World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) global ambassador Brian Stiller was among the leaders present at the June meeting with Pope Francis.

“Tony was a most remarkable young man,” he said in an e-mail. “I so well remember his gracious and active leadership in bringing members of the World Evangelical Alliance together in conversation with Pope Francis late June.

“However, with his life and witness still fresh in our memory, I believe it is important that we carry on, as he would have desired, finding ways for our major Christian bodies to have friendship and to understand our respective communions,” said Stiller, who headed the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada for 16 years.
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Posted: July 22, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7746
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, NewsIn this article: Catholic, Christian unity, ecumenism, Evangelicals
Transmis : 22 juillet 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7746
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, NewsDans cet article : Catholic, Christian unity, ecumenism, Evangelicals


E-RC dialogue plans three public meetings

The Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue in Saskatoon has recently issued a draft “Common Statement of Faith” after three years of study. The text is offered to our sponsoring churches for study and discernment, with the prayer that this text might be adopted as a sufficient statement for further dialogue and common mission.

Three community-wide meetings have been planned to present and discuss the draft statement.

The text of the joint statement is available online at: ecumenism.net/archive/docu/2014_erc-saskatoon_common-statement-of-faith.pdf

For further information contact Nick Jesson, Roman Catholic diocesan ecumenical officer at jesson [at] ecumenism [dot] net or (306) 659-5814; or Pastor Harry Strauss, Forest Grove Community Church at harry [at] forestgrovecc [dot] com or (306) 933-2266.
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Posted: September 18, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7814
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic DialogueIn this article: Catholic, Christian unity, dialogue, Evangelicals, statements of faith
Transmis : 18 septembre 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7814
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic DialogueDans cet article : Catholic, Christian unity, dialogue, Evangelicals, statements of faith


Joint Statement of Faith for Evangelicals and Catholics in Saskatoon

The Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue in Saskatoon has recently issued a draft “Common Statement of Faith” after three years of study. The text is offered to our sponsoring churches for study and discernment, with the prayer that this text might be adopted as a sufficient statement for further dialogue and common mission.

The dialogue is sponsored by the Saskatoon Evangelical Ministers’ Fellowship (SEMF) and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon. The group was established in 2011 to build upon earlier efforts to draw our churches together. The twenty members of the dialogue are drawn from across the Evangelical and Catholic communities with both clergy and lay people well represented. The dialogue spent two years exploring issues that have historically divided Catholics and Evangelicals before concluding that a statement of the faith we share in common would assist in promoting the growing relationship between our churches. Over a year in drafting and revision, the statement offered to our church at this time is not intended to be a final or complete exposition of these doctrinal matters or of all of the matters essential to Christian faith. We intend to give an account of the hope that we share for the visible witness of Jesus Christ by his followers in Saskatoon.
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Posted: September 18, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7786
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic DialogueIn this article: Catholic, Christian unity, dialogue, ecumenism, Evangelicals, Saskatoon, statements of faith
Transmis : 18 septembre 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7786
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic DialogueDans cet article : Catholic, Christian unity, dialogue, ecumenism, Evangelicals, Saskatoon, statements of faith


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