Friday, 10 July 2015

Are you an Ecumaniac?!

During my first few weeks as an ordained minister I was invited to supper with an older colleague whose opening gambit, as we tucked into the melon, was 'Are you an Ecumaniac'?  I didn't really know how to answer!  So I waffled on about how I believed in churches working together -  but how I also believed in churches maintaining a strong individual identity.  Anyway, it seemed to satisfy him and we progressed to the chicken casserole without further incident!

Almost thirty years on and I would probably still answer the same way.  So I'm really pleased to be working in Amersham where the three Churches on the Hill are in a meaningful Covenant - but I'm also thrilled that my own church, AFC, has a really strong and vibrant identity.

Ecumenism has figured strongly with us over the last week.  On Sunday we held a joint Churches on The Hill service at St Michael's and the photo above shows four relieved clergy afterwards - enjoying each others friendship and grateful that all had gone well!

Then on Wednesday we held our COTHA (Churches on The Hill Amersham) AGM.  We had two wonderful reports - firstly from The Chiltern Youth Projects (a wing of Youth For Christ) telling us what they do at the local youth centre, all in the name of the local churches. And a report from Open The Book telling us of their work at school assemblies using teams drawn from many churches in the district.

These wonderful and lively projects are not examples of 'committee' based ecumenism but 'task-centred' ecumenism - which I think is the best sort and a model that's always worth pursuing!

Best wishes,

Ian

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