Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2015

18-25th January inclusive at 4.30pm.

The night before his Passion and Death, Jesus said:

“May they all be one,
just as, Father,
you are in me and I am in you” Jn 17:21

Each year from 18-25th January, Christians of all denominations unite around the world to pray for this great desire of the heart of Jesus—that we may all be one. Here at Kilmacud Carmelite Monastery we dedicate our Evening Prayer at 4.30pm for this intention each day during the Week of Prayer.  All are welcome to join us. 

QUICK LINKS:             THEME & BIBLICAL TEXT 2015           

                                    ECUMENISM IN BRAZIL

                                    DAILY REFLECTIONS AND PRAYERS

                                    QUOTES AND PHOTOS FROM EACH DAY AT KILMACUD

                                    PREVIOUS YEARS

THEME:        Jesus said to her: Give me a drink (John 4:7)

BIBLICAL TEXT FOR 2015: John 4: 1-42

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, “Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John’— although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized— he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink’. (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink’, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” Then the woman left her water-jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” They left the city and were on their way to him.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.”
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world.’

Guest speakers at the Carmelite Monastery this week:

Sun 18th: Reflection by a Carmelite Sister
Mon 19th: Rev. Katherine Meyer, United Methodist/Presbyterian Church, Sandymount
Tues 20th: Rev. Robert Opala OCD, Carmelite Community, Oxford, UK
Wed 21st:  
Reflection by a Carmelite Sister
Thurs 22nd:   Rev. Ian Gallagher, St. Brigid’s Church of Ireland, Stillorgan
Fri  23rd: Rev. Tony Coote Adm., Mount Merrion & Kilmacud parishes
Sat 24th: Reflection by a Carmelite Sister

Sun 25th: 
Mrs. Alex Fromholz, Lay Teacher/Leadership Team, Holy Trinity Church of Ireland, Rathmines


This text is reproduced under the sole authority and responsibility of the ecumenical group in Brazil which came together to write the source texts for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2015.

The ecumenical movement in Brazil has roots in the experience of interdenominational cooperation between different Protestant missionary agencies operating in the country since the 19th century. In 1934, the Evangelical Confederation of Brazil (CEB) was created in order to promote the ecumenical movement. The CEB later played an important role in promoting the ideals of the World Council of Churches. The churches that participated in the creation of CEB were the Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian churches of Brazil and the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil. They were joined by the Evangelical Church of Lutheran Confession in Brazil in 1959, by the Foursquare Gospel Church in 1963, and by the Pentecostal Church Brazil for Christ in 1968. Mission was an important topic for CEB. Another well-known dimension of CEB’s work was its circular letters that addressed social issues in Brazil such as the need for land reform, improving education, literacy courses and campaigns in emergencies.

 The greater involvement of young Brazilians with international Christian youth movements such as the Universal Federation of Student Christian Movements (WSCF) was an important factor. The churches were forced to confront the issues of social and economic conflict which continued to emerge in these groups. Another important influence was the example of French Catholic priests who sought to live alongside the poor and who became an inspiration for many young Christians in Brazil. The challenge was to foster a theology that incorporated both Brazilian culture and the problems of Brazilian society in its reflection.

 In 1953, CEB created organized four national conferences to understand the reality of the country and identify prospects from a Protestant perspective. The topics covered in these four conferences were: Social Responsibility of the Church (1955), Study on the Social Responsibility of the Church (1955), The Church's presence in the Evolution of Nationality (1960) and Jesus Christ and the Brazilian Revolutionary Process (1962). By the third and fourth conferences one begins to see an openness to dialogue with Roman Catholics, who were also meeting to discuss the social and political problems of the country.

 In the years following the 1964 military coup, the CEB was progressively dismantled. However, the ecumenical work which the Confederation promoted did not entirely disappear. As a result of Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil increasingly opened to dialogue with other Christians and was increasingly aware of the social responsibility of the Church. In the face of political repression, the doctrinal differences which separated the churches were of secondary importance to the pressing social problems faced by the Brazilian people, and this contributed to the reinvigoration of the ecumenical movement.

In the context of military dictatorship, ecumenical groups of Protestants and Roman Catholics, and which also included some non-Christians, started to promote human rights, denounce torture, and to pursue democratic openness. Particular situations of oppression and human rights issues have remained at the centre of the ecumenical movement in Brazil. Since 1975, the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Church of Lutheran Confession in Brazil, the Episcopal Anglican Church, and the Methodist Church began to envisage together the establishment of a National Council of Churches. Their vision became a reality in 1982, when CONIC was created. In the rather complex Brazilian religious context, CONIC seeks to foster dialogue between churches and other religions. Amidst growing religious intolerance, CONIC is involved in several discussion forums that seek to minimize the impact of religious fundamentalism. It has taken a leading role in the debate on the relationship between Church and Society, discussing, in particular, the need for regulation of the relationship between civil society organizations and the State. In relationships and at times in conflict between religious groups and movements identified with the struggle for human rights, CONIC has worked with a view to promote theological reflection on different perspectives and perceptions in society.

One of CONIC’s most important activities is the annual celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It has also supported three Lenten campaigns sponsored by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, which were held ecumenically in the years 2000, 2005 and 2010. The fourth ecumenical Lent Campaign will take place in 2016.


Printable (pdf) version of these daily reflections

DAY 1: Sun 18th Jan: It is necessary to go through Samaria (John 4:4)
The negative reputation of Samaria came from its mix of races and religions. More than a geographical issue, the choice of Jesus: “going through Samaria” means that it is necessary to meet the other, the different, the one who is often seen as a threat.  Samaritans in their turn, also had difficulty accepting Jews (Jn 4:8). On at least one occasion, reported in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus was not received in a
Samaritan city simply because he was on his way to Judea (Lk 9:52). So resistance to dialogue came from the two sides.  John makes it clear that “going through Samaria” is a choice Jesus is making; he is reaching beyond his own people. In this he is showing us that isolating ourselves from those who are different and relating only to people like ourselves is a self-inflicted impoverishment. It is the dialogue with those who are different that makes us grow.
God of all peoples,  teach us to go through Samaria to meet our brothers and sisters from other churches.  Allow us to go there with an open heart so we may learn from every church and culture.  We confess that you are the source of unity.  Grant us the unity that Christ wills for us.  Amen.

DAY 2: Mon 19th Jan:
Tired of the journey, Jesus sat down facing the well (John 4:6)
The Pharisees had begun to spread the word that Jesus baptized more disciples than John. Perhaps this rumour has caused some tension and discomfort. Perhaps it is the reason behind Jesus’ decision to leave. His fatigue could also be related to the rumours. It still happens that instead of a common search for unity, competition and dispute mark the relations between the churches. This has been the experience of Brazil in recent years. Communities extol their own virtues and the benefits that accrue to their adherents in order to attract new members. Some think that the bigger the church, the larger its number of members, the greater its power, the closer they are to God, presenting themselves as the only true worshippers. As a result there has been violence and disrespect to other religions and traditions. We need “wells” to lean upon, to rest and let go of disputes, competition and violence, places where we can learn that true worshippers worship “in Spirit and in Truth.”
Gracious God, often our churches are led to choose the logic of competition. Forgive our sin of presumption.  We are weary from this need to be first. Allow us to rest at the well.  Refresh us with the water of unity drawn from our common prayer.  May your Spirit who hovered over the waters of chaos bring unity from our diversity. Amen.

DAY 3: Tue 20th Jan:  “I have no husband” (John 4:17)
The Samaritan woman answers Jesus, “I have no husband.” The topic of conversation is now about the married life of the woman. However, it seems that Jesus was interested in another dimension of the woman’s situation, he acknowledges the woman’s life but remains open to her, to encounter her. Jesus does not insist on a moral interpretation of her answer but seems to want to lead her beyond. And as a result the woman’s attitude towards Jesus changes. At this point, the obstacles of cultural and religious differences fade into the background in order to give space to something much more important: an encounter in trust.
O you who are beyond all things, how could we call you by any other name?  What song could be sung for you? No word can express you. What Spirit can perceive you? No intelligence can comprehend you. You alone are inexpressible;  all that is said has come from you. You alone are unknowable; all that is thought has come from you. All creatures proclaim you, those who speak and those who are dumb. Every one desires you, everyone sighs and aspires after you. All that exists prays to you, and every being that can contemplate your universe raises to you a silent hymn. Have pity on us, you who are beyond all things. How could we call you by any other name? Amen.

DAY 4: Wed 21st Jan:  Then the woman left her water jar (John 4:28)
The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman shows that dialogue with the different, the stranger, the unfamiliar, can be life-giving. That the Samaritan woman leaves behind her water jar signals that she has found a greater gift, a greater good than the water she came for, and a better place to be within her community. She recognizes the greater gift that this Jewish stranger, Jesus, is offering her. It is difficult for us to find value, to recognize as good, or even holy, that which is unknown to us and that which belongs to another. However, recognizing the gifts that belong to the other as good and as holy is a necessary step towards the visible unity we seek.
Loving God, help us to learn from Jesus and the Samaritan that the encounter with the other opens for us new horizons of grace. Help us to break through our limits and embrace new challenges. Help us to go beyond fear in following the call of your Son. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

DAY 5: Thur 22nd Jan: You have no bucket and the well is deep (John 4:11)
Jesus needed help. He has no bucket to draw water. Everybody needs help! Many Christians believe that they alone have all the answers and they need no help from anyone else. We lose a lot if we maintain this perspective. None of us can reach the depths of the well of the divine and yet faith demands that we delve deeper into the mystery. We cannot do this in isolation. We need the help of our Christian brothers and sisters. Only then can we reach into the depths of the mystery of God. Brazilian indigenous traditions teach us to learn from the wisdom of the elderly, and at the same time, from the curiosity and innocence of infants. When we are ready to accept that we do need each other, we become like children, open to learn.
God, spring of the Living water, help us to understand that the more we join together the pieces of our ropes, the more deeply our buckets reach into your divine waters! Awaken us to the truth that the gifts of the other, are an expression of your unfathomable mystery. And make us sit at the well together to drink from your water which gathers us in unity and peace. We ask this in the name of your son Jesus Christ, who asked the Samaritan woman to give him water for his thirst. Amen.

DAY 6: Fri 23rd Jan: Jesus said : “The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14)
The dialogue that begins with Jesus asking for water becomes a dialogue in which Jesus promises water. Later in this same gospel Jesus will again ask for a drink. “I thirst,” he says from the cross, and from the cross Jesus becomes the promised fountain of water which flows from his pierced side. We receive this water, this life from Jesus, in baptism, and it becomes a water, a life that wells up within us to be given and shared with others. The water of baptism springing into life becomes an ecumenical witness of Christian love in action, a foretaste of the eternal life which Jesus promises. 
Triune God, following the example of Jesus, make us witnesses to your love. Grant us to become instruments of justice, peace and solidarity. May your Spirit move us towards concrete actions that lead to unity. May walls be transformed into bridges. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

DAY 7: Sat 24th Jan: “Give me to drink” (John 4:7)
In the wilderness God’s people were without water and God sent Moses and Aaron to bring water forth from the rock. In the same way God often meets our needs through others. As we call upon the Lord in our need, like the Samaritan asking Jesus, “Sir, give me this water,” perhaps the Lord has already answered our prayers by putting into the hands of our neighbours that for which we ask. And so we need to turn also to them, and ask, “Give me to drink.”  Sometimes the answer to our need is already in the life and goodwill of the people around us.
God of life, who cares for all creation, and calls us to justice and peace, may our security not come from arms, but from respect. May our force not be of violence, but of love. May our wealth not be in money, but in sharing. May our path not be of ambition, but of justice. May our victory not be from vengeance, but in forgiveness. May our unity not be in the quest of power, but in vulnerable witness to do your will. Open and confident, may we defend the dignity of all creation, sharing, today and forever, the bread of solidarity, justice and peace. This we ask in the name of Jesus, your holy Son, our brother, who, as victim of our violence, even from the heights of the cross, gave forgiveness to us all. Amen. 
(Adapted from a prayer from an ecumenical conference in Brazil, calling for an end to poverty as the first step on the path to peace through justice)

DAY 8: Sun 25th Jan: Many believed because of the woman’s testimony  (John 4:39)
With her heart transformed, the Samaritan woman goes out in mission. Mission is a key element of Christian faith. Every Christian is called to announce the name of the Lord. Pope Francis told missionaries, “wherever you may go, it would do you well to think that the Spirit of God always gets there ahead of us”. Mission is not proselytism. Those who truly announce Jesus approach others in loving
dialogue, open to mutual learning, and respecting difference. Our mission requires us to learn to drink from the living water without taking hold of the well. The well does not belong to us. Rather, we draw life from the well, the well of living water which is given by Christ. The late Brazilian Archbishop Helder Camara, once said that many have become atheists because they have become disillusioned by people of faith who do not practice what they preach. The witness of the woman led her community to believe in Jesus because her brothers and sisters saw coherence between her words and her own transformation.
God, spring of living water, Make of us witnesses of unity through both our words and our lives. Help us to understand that we are not the owners of the well, And give us the wisdom to welcome the same grace in one another. Transform our hearts and our lives so that we might be genuine bearers of the Good News. And lead us always to the encounter with the other, as an encounter with you. We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Sun 18th: It is necessary to go through Samaria (Jn 4:4)
Reflection by a Carmelite Sister

This week is a privileged moment for prayer, encounter and dialogue. Jesus made the choice to travel through Samaria. Maybe this week we can reach out to people who are different in small ways in our own lives.
When news of the religious wars in France reached St Teresa, she was stirred to pray for the good of the Church and all people. Today we are impressed by the set of guidelines for Muslims that have been published here in Ireland by the Islamic Educational and Cultural Centre. For example: "As Irish citizens we must not allow tragic incidents of Paris for hate to creep into our hearts. Muslims, non-Muslims and people of all backgrounds must come together and show unity and solidarity and not let it divide our communities".
Let us pray also for persecuted Christians in Iraq, Syria and the Holy Land who are suffering grievously. 

Photo: The Christian Unity display in our chapel this week, with a Brazilian theme and a lamp which will burn continuously for the 8 days. Note the small statue of Our Lady of Aparaceda to the right. It was a gift to us from a Brazilian friend!

Mon 19th: Tired of the journey, Jesus sat down facing the well (John 4:6) 
Rev. Katherine Meyer, United Methodist/Presbyterian Church, Sandymount

Today in many places, and especially at local level, there are wonderful things happening ecumenically speaking. I’m sure we all know that and I’m sure many of us are involved in them. 

But perhaps the one thing that binds all Christian traditions together most undeniably and most embarrassingly today, is that we are mostly living within parish and congregational structures that are simply no longer working well, or at all. They are broken. And more than that, most of us, while wanting to remain deeply rooted in the living traditions of the Church, don’t want to spend time trying to fix something that needs - not to be fixed - but to be re-created. 

That is, of course, the Spirit’s work, but in the meantime perhaps the gift of the Samaritan woman to us in this week is her testimony that those who embrace what life has made them, and do not try to cover it up, have a powerful apostolic witness to bear. She calls us to have her guts, and to say clearly: “I have no husband… don’t ask me to apologise, but if you are seeking the One who will proclaim all things to us, then come and see…”. 

A messed up life and a complicated story which are nevertheless being brought into the harvest of eternal life, are and always will be our best witness and testimony to the truth of the Gospel.

Tues 20th: Journeying with St Teresa towards Christian Unity   
Rev. Robert Opala OCD, Carmelite Community, Oxford, UK

"Concerning the necessity of reforming the church, St Teresa could easily stand together with many Protestant reformers of the 16th century. And there is something that Teresa shared with those reformers: the centrality and sovereignty of Christ in his church. In other words, we can say that Teresa's reforms, as much as Luther's reformation, were Christ centred movements that had only one goal: to bring Christ back to his church. Teresa also stressed the importance and centrality of Scripture, the Word of God. And this is something that Luther fought for when he faced the Emperor and the Pope's cardinals. Their respect for the Word of God was equal and uncompromised.

Teresa of Avila was a mystic and one could say that it was the major factor that differs her from Luther and other Protestant teachers. [But] Martin Luther, like Teresa of Avila, may be called a friend of God, and as a friend of God he would never ignore any opportunity to enter into a closer relationship with God. And according to a new interpretation of mysticism, mystical experience does not mean anything else but a relationship with God. And this is something that was for Luther an ultimate concern: relationship with God who justifies us because he loves us. 

This approach allows every Christian, whether Protestant or Catholic, to protest against emphasising only the external character of the Word of God and the sacraments, and ignoring the inner experience of God's presence in His Word and sacraments. In this way, even Catholics could be said to be Protestants! And so we have to move from venerating the image of the crucified Christ to a living and loving relationship with the Person of Christ who died on the cross for our salvation."

Wed 21st:  Then the woman left her water jar (John 4:28)
Reflection by a Carmelite Sister  

It is always a temptation to ignore our own faults and look at the state of the world instead. Like the Samaritan woman we sometimes feel that our own behaviour is insignificant compared with the big problems on the national or international scene, yet everyone’s little failures to love, meanness and lack of tolerance all go to fuel the great international clashes, just as acts of kindness and love help to bring peace to the world. When we fail to recognise that all the people in the world are our brothers and sisters we are adding to the general disharmony out there. In fact it has now been scientifically proven from DNA that we really are all related, however distantly.

 A water jar was an expensive and important object, not something you would leave behind lightly. The fact that the Samaritan woman left it behind shows just how much impact Jesus had made on her. John probably mentioned this little detail in his gospel to show the woman’s sudden change of priorities and the redeeming work of Christ so evident here. Jesus had promised her living water and this living water was already beginning to well up within her, so that the thing she had set out to do, that was most important to her when she left home, suddenly failed to have any significance for her. Her meeting with Jesus brought and unexpected revelation, but only because she was open to it; because she was willing to be gifted by this stranger.

 Picture: The Samaritan Woman by Jyoti Sahi.

Jyoti Sahi was born in India in 1944. His mother was a Christian from Britain and his father was a Punjabi Hindu. He is also known for Hindu -Christian dialogue through art. This picture shows Jesus sitting in a Buddha-like pose. Beside him are two trees sacred to Hinduism and Buddhism. Jesus pours the living water into the hands of the woman dressed in Hindu sari. She becomes a living stream for others (grey/blue colour depicting the flowing stream)

Thurs 22nd: You have no bucket and the well is deep (John 4:11)   
Rev. Ian Gallagher,  St Brigid's Church of Ireland, Stillorgan 

Jesus said to her: Give me a drink. In the discourse that follows we hear Jesus offer her a drink - a drink from living water. Even though the Gospel doesn't tell us, I am sure that the woman gave Jesus a drink. They offer each other hospitality. Hospitality is what we Christians should be all about. Not just to those from our own community, not just between different denominations, but amongst all who live among us from different faiths or none.

The past few weeks have been difficult for those of us who have a faith in God. The horrors of Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish supermarket in Paris. The burning of churches and people in Niger as a response. Christian unity is important, but maybe less important than fostering relationship between different faith. God is important to all of us. We need to show each other respect and be hospitable to each other.

Fri  23rd: Jesus said : “The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14)
Rev. Tony Coote Adm., Mount Merrion & Kilmacud parishes 

I often think that if Jesus came back to earth today, he would be mystified by all the titles we have given ourselves, except the one he gave us - followers of Jesus. All the rest, Catholic, Church of Ireland, Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal, whatever... in Christianity - he wouldn't understand it because he never heard it in his lifetime. He only heard the followers of Christ in that name given at Antioch in the first century. 

We can all learn a lesson from Jesus in his relationship with this woman, in terms of mutual respect for those who differ from us, a willingness to listen, a hesitation towards rash judgement and a realisation that we all share in the good news given to us as a gift by Jesus Christ. That's the purpose of this week, to serve as a reminder of our common origin and destination.

Sat 24th: “Give me to drink” (John 4:7)
Reflection by a Carmelite Sister

The most obvious and important unifying factor for all Christians is, of course, Christ Himself. He is our “One Lord”. The more we look to Him and His example, the more we will grow in unity with each other. 

“Give me a drink”. 

At first glance, these are not words of profound teaching or of great wisdom. They are ordinary words of neediness, a request for help; words that any person might use. But because they are words spoken by Jesus, our One Lord, there is much that we can learn from them. 

In these four words we have found an amazing story. We have discovered that our Lord and Saviour suffers from thirst and fatigue. We have learned about his compassion and solidarity, His zeal for the salvation of all people, His courage and freedom in breaking through man-made barriers. This man, this Jesus, the Son of God is our Christ, our One Lord – the One that every Christian looks to as Saviour and Redeemer. 

In the words of William Barclay, this week of prayer has shown us in a little way: “the beginning of the universality of the gospel; here is God so loving the world, not in theory, but in action”.

Sun 25th: Many believed because of the woman’s testimony  (John 4:39)
Mrs. Alex Fromholz, Lay Te
acher/Leadership Team, Holy Trinity Church of Ireland, Rathmines

It’s very easy to label, it’s very easy to criticise, and it’s very easy to be fearful of what we don’t know or what we don’t understand. But when we’ve lived life with somebody, when we have personalised them, we have got to know their name, it’s not so easy to dislike them. We still may not agree, but we can also enjoy them.

 True ecumenism is not compromise, it is being fully Catholic and it is being fully Protestant. It is recognising we have a common ground, we have a common foundation, we believe in the same Gospel, we believe that Jesus died, came to save us and rose again. But how we express our faith can look very different. We are to recognise our common ground and celebrate our diversity.

 There is such beauty in diversity – look at nature to see how creative our God is… Nature is diversity, and nature and diversity are to be celebrated!


2014: Has Christ been divided? 

Speakers:     Rev. Ian Gallagher, St Brigid's Church of Ireland, Stillorgan
                   Dr Geraldine Smyth, Irish School of Ecumenics
                   Rev. Canon Robert Warren, Taney Parish, Church of Ireland, Dundrum
                   Rev.Tony Coote, Adm., Kilmacud & Mount Merrion Parishes

                   Rev.Jameson Kunjukunju, Mar Thoma Syrian Church

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