Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Churches Listening Together

Currently at the Churches Together in England Forum at Swanwick, where we have had a fascinating day.  We started with Orthodox morning prayers.  Then, after breakfast, we had a session to introduce us to the Orthodox Church.  There is clearly a richness of liturgy, of recognising the contribution of saints, and of using icons which can be very enriching.

This was followed by a session on Pentecostalism.  It was interesting to see the similarities between two forms of Christianity that might be regarded as being at opposite ends, but which have much in common, not least the recognition of the role of the Holy Spirit.  I had been asked to contribute to this session as a non-Pentecostal saying something about how Pentecostalism has enriched me.  It was interesting to reflect on that, focusing on links in Islington and then on the Pentecostal aspects of the worship when I was recently in Zimbabwe.  I said that we need to capture something of the joy, celebration and spirituality.

This evening we had a great session listening to young people.  They challenged us to recognise the contribution that young people can make and to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the church.  They were rooted in a variety of denominations, but encouraged us to recognise the importance of our unity - and so to be walking together.

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