Koinonia Newsletter

Koinonia––participation, sharing, partnership, communion––a quarterly online journal of the Paulist Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Office, seeks to provide ongoing information, education, and practical resources. It is distributed electronically to members of the Paulist community, Diocesan Ecumenical Officers in the U.S. and Canada, ecumenical and interfaith colleagues in other churches and religions, and anyone interested in the ongoing work for Christian unity and interreligious understanding.

To subscribe to Koinonia via e-mail, send an e-mail with your request to tomryan@paulist.org or click here.


Issue 67, Summer 2018
The Birthing of a New Community for Unity in the Mission of Jesus
John Armstrong shares the story of his calling to the mission of Christian unity, his service to it over the last 27 years, and the new birth of The Initiative.
Orthodox and Catholics: Sister Churches?
Ronald Roberson provides an overview of the recent Orientale Lumen Conference which addressed the question: What language is it appropriate for Catholics and Orthodox to use in describing their relationships with one another?
Book Review: The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams
A Buddhist and Christian leader share their reflections on the nature of true joy, the obstacles to joy, eight pillars of joy, and practices to cultivate joy.
Resources to Keep it Growing

North American Academy of Ecumenists Annual Conference, Sept. 28-30, on the theme of “Living Unity: Ecumenical Shared Ministries,” at the Crystal City Hilton in Arlington, VA, next to Reagan National Airport. Ground shuttle transportation available. For conference registration and lodging, visit naae.net.

The World Week of Peace, Sept 16-23. All people of good will are called to participate in the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This year’s theme is “Youth and Children: Raising Hope and Making Change”. During this week organizations, congregations, and people of faith are encouraged to bear a common witness by participating in worship services, educational events, and acts of support in favor of a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

Christian Churches Together annual convocation, from 2pm on October 3 to 1pm on October 5, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita, Kansas. Central theme: “Let’s Talk about Life”. Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant, Orthodox, and Historic Black Church members will come together to listen to and understand better the different traditions’ perspectives on issues of life that often divide us. The topics of systemic racism and the convergence of poverty and racism will be part of the conversation. Official representatives of the communions, organizations, and observers can register by clicking this link. Registration deadline is Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church—Local, Regional, Universal– An Agreed Statement of the Third Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III)

Gospel Call: A Congregational Renewal Event: Gospel Call, a faith renewal event bringing Christians together for worship, community, and mission, is a Sunday to Wednesday parish mission with an ecumenical spin. Instead of just one preacher, there are two (a Catholic, Thomas Ryan, CSP, and a Protestant, John Armstrong) and the co-sponsoring congregations in a neighborhood/area take turns hosting the various events. For more info, click here, call 617-948-2406 or write tomryan@paulist.org.

Paulist Pilgrimages – The Footsteps of Jesus: The Holy Land, March 30-April 10, 2019: Experience the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in new and powerful ways. Paulist Pilgrimages specializes in offering journeys around the world that are: Spiritual – speaking to the heart and soul of the traveler; Cultural – exploring unique places beyond the tourist trail; and Historical – offering a broad perspective of the land and its people.

Keeping the Faith at College: Resource Guide For Religious And Spiritual Students: a user-friendly resource that cites on-campus organizations and resources; the Top 10 Challenges religious students face in college; and a breakdown of religious and spiritual demographics in college.

Multiculturalism and Diversity on the College Campus: Resources and Information on Fostering and Maintaining an Inclusive Environment: a series of guides designed to highlight the many educational, financial and social opportunities available to today’s postsecondary students.

UniteBoston’s summer worship night on Thursday August 16th from 7:00 to 9:00pm in the Parkman Bandstand in Boston Common. The goal is to create a unique worship environment for all to come together and experience the love of Jesus.

Summer

It can happen in any season but the heart
has a better chance of opening to life
in the longer, warmer light of summer,
in the street musician’s free concert by the curb
and in exploding fireworks against a starry sky.

The discovery of the leisurely, relaxed step
and the comfort of friendly words with neighbors
comes with turning over garden dirt,
watering the flowers and tomatoes,
sharing apples, cucumbers, and corn on the cob.

It could happen in November or December,
but the opening of the heart to life is given
broader berth amidst beach-time banter
or with the music floating out the window
and the children catching fire-flies in the yard.

The blessings of summer to you!

Tom Ryan, CSP
Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Paulist Center
5 Park St
Boston, MA 02108

 

Issue 66, Spring 2018
One God, One Humanity: Confronting Religious Prejudice
Ever wonder what a Muslim-Christian dialogue might “sound” like? Tom Ryan gives you an opportunity to “eaves-drop” on the exchanges at the recent March 6-8 national Catholic-Muslim Dialogue at Mundelein Seminary outside Chicago.
A Journey with the Qur’an and the Bible
Muslim educator Maria Khani shares her grass roots initiatives to build relationships between local Muslim and Christian communities through joint scripture study and sharing of faith, food, and spiritual practice.
Many Streams, One River
Jacob Urena had never attended an Eastern Orthodox liturgy before, and relates how his participation in their Good Friday Service not only touched and enriched him, but was a life-changing experience.
Resources to Keep it Growing
 

National Workshop on Christian Unity, Apr. 16-19, Silver Spring, MD. www.nwcu.org The Workshop is the only gathering of its kind at a national level in the world. It brings together ecumenical representatives, ecumenists, and interested members from all churches. To register: http://nwcu.org/2018-registration/

Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute, July 23-July 27, at the Washington (D.C.) Theological College at Catholic University. The Institute, sponsored by the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers (CADEIO), is open to ecumenical and interreligious officers, commission members, diocesan leaders, members of religious orders, seminarians, theology students and interested laity. For more info or to register:  http://cadeio.org

North American Academy of Ecumenists Annual Meeting, Sept. 28-30, on the theme of “Living Unity: Ecumenical Shared Ministries,” at the Crystal City Hilton, Washington, DC., next to Reagan National Airport. Ground shuttle transportation available. To register: http://naae.net 

Awakening Your Mystical Heart: Making Direct Contact with the Spirit Within – a day-long workshop with Fr. Tom Ryan on the contemplative tradition within Christianity and the practice of Christian meditation today, April 23, at the New York Open Center. Register on the website or call 212-219-2527, ext 2. 

Paulist Pilgrimage: The Saints of England, June 3-14 – visit the major religious, historical and cultural sites of England

March for Our Lives: Some photos of signage among the 50,000 Boston student-led marchers for gun control that capture the values and motivations that brought them out onto the streets on March 24 in union with others around the country.

 

The Shroud

Faint as an old tintype the image
hovers, masking an outrageous light
from the wild darkness of the Godhead,
the ravenous wings of Easter that will stoop
on death scurrying like a spider,
shake the flowers out,
and tumble sparrows in a well of singing–

until at last we open and the garden going in
green robes seizes us with laughter
bright and terrible, blowing loose our hearts,
like the Mary shaken from her cloud
to the enormous gaiety of light
and the whole spontaneous flesh
now and forever loved in its first being.

Robert Siegel

 

A joyous Easter to you!  

Tom Ryan, CSP
Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Paulist Center
5 Park St
Boston, MA 02108
 
 
 
Issue 65, Winter 2018

The first three articles below provide a summary of weekly talks in January 2018 at an adult discipleship course entitled “Unity–or Disunity–in the Church:  How Can We Be One?” The series was sponsored by Grace Chapel, Lexington, MA, and directed by Valerie Pietry, in collaboration with Pastor Dana Baker (Social Justice and Multicultural Ministry) and Pastor Doug Whallon (Discipleship) at Grace Chapel.

 

The Glory of the Nations and the Challenge of Christian Unity
Tim Castner provides insight into the various factors—cultural, ethnic, linguistic, doctrinal—that have contributed over the centuries to the multiplication of different denominations within Christianity.
Scriptural Teaching on Christian Unity
What does the Bible say about Christian unity? Why has it been so hard to live out in the Christian church? Scott Brill provides an overview of key biblical passages, noting that the record of conflict goes way back, with the challenge being essentially one of holding together truth and fellowship.
Discovering the Gold: Mutual Recognition in the Body of Christ
An ecumenism of mutual recognition depends on our ability to receive from one another. Kelly Steinhaus presents five key attitudes we need to cultivate within ourselves as we venture outside of our comfort zones to discover Christ in each another.
Spiritual Ecumenism
Tom Ryan unveils the multi-layered meaning of “spiritual ecumenism” and witnesses to how the time spent together in faith sharing and prayer, plus the spiritual gifts exchanged, transform peoples’ perceptions of one another and enrich their lives in concrete and lasting ways.
Resources to Keep it Growing 

 

National Workshop on Christian Unity, April 16-19, Silver Spring, MD www.nwcu.org The Workshop is the only gathering of its kind at a national level in the world. It brings together ecumenical representatives, ecumenists, and interested members from all churches. To register: nwcu.org/2018-registration/

Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute, July 23-July 27, at the Washington (D.C.) Theological College at Catholic University. The Institute, sponsored by the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers (CADEIO), is open to ecumenical and interreligious officers, commission members, diocesan leaders, members of religious orders, seminarians, theology students and interested laity. For more info or to register: cadeio.org

New book: Finding Jesus Among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic, by Jordan Denari Duffner (Liturgical Press)
Drawing from church teaching, the stories of saints and martyrs, and her extensive personal experiences living among Muslims in both the United States and the Middle East, Jordan addresses these questions and explains why all Christians are to participate in a “dialogue of life” with Muslims.

Interfaith Education: Meditation and Contemplative Studies Certificate Training, at the New York Open Center, 212-219-2527 ext 2.

Paulist Pilgrimage: The Saints of England, June 3-14 – visit the major religious, historical and cultural sites of England

Gratitude

Gratitude is a dozen red roses in winter,
an inner fullness that expands the lungs
and erases words from the mind.
It is the secret combination
that unclicks the locket of the heart
and opens the soul in readiness
to lay down one’s life in small pieces.

Tom Ryan, CSP
Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Paulist Center
5 Park St
Boston, MA 02108
Issue 64, Fall 2017

 

The Reformation Anniversary: Personal Reflections
Thomas Best reflects on a recent exhibition in Berlin exploring the roots and results of the Reformation and its expansion and inculturation into different countries with remarkable diversity in both theology and ecclesiology, which the ecumenical movement has given us the chance to confront head on in a spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding rather than bitter contention.
A Luther Pilgrimage Report
John Power gives you a “feel” for the major sites, shares how his appreciation of Luther and his colleagues was enhanced by a recent ecumenical pilgrimage to historic sites where they lived and worked, and observes how Luther is central to German identity, with the Reformation seen as the single most important event in German history.
A Seat at the Table: An Inspirational Interfaith Experience
Timothy Sullivan, CSP, describes “A Seat at the Table” evening in his parish which brings together people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds for a dinner followed by an opportunity for heartfelt sharing and dialogue to help participants better understand the life experience of their neighbors and live together in harmony.
Resources to Keep it Growing 

Kairos 2017 United in Christ, “Unity + Revival,” Oct. 24-26, Kansas City, MO. A historic meeting of Christian leaders across various streams will gather in answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17 to pray and network with other members of the Body of Christ. More info/To register: www.Kairos2017.com

Christian Unity Gathering, Nov. 8-10 in Washington, DC, sponsored by the National Council of Churches on the theme of “Resilence, Resistance, and Persistence” to help equip for the long journey ahead. More info/To register: nationalcouncilofchurches.us/cug/register/

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Jan. 18-25, 2018, to obtain posters, bulletin announcements, religious education materials, prayer cards, thematic music, go to: geii.org

National Workshop on Christian Unity, Apr. 16-19, Silver Spring, MD

Interfaith Dialogue Educational Resources – free online The Scarboro Missions Interfaith department in Toronto, ON, is happy to share with you this abundance of resources which can be downloaded and printed free of charge:

1) Principles and guidelines for interfaith dialogue:  This compendium of concise and handy resources provides insight into the interfaith movement and its treasure chest of wisdom and learning opportunities. This collection explores the goals, types and stages of dialogue and touches on issues such as interfaith etiquette, listening, peace-building, hospitality, respectful presence and dialogue-versus-debate. These principles and guidelines are useful for those who are new to interfaith as well as for veterans of interfaith work.

2) Interfaith curriculum and educational resources: Includes online courses, toolkits, best practices, do-it-yourself workshops, activities, multifaith prayer services, how-to-manuals, guidelines, games, starter kits, meditations, slideshows, etc.

3) Golden Rule education resources: This comprehensive listing features interactive resources, meditation exercises, videos, multilingual posters, art activities, do-it-yourself workshops, slide programs, discussion questions, Golden Rule websites, books, toolkits, best practices, and school & youth group curricula.

Please consider forwarding this announcement to colleagues and friends and posting it on websites and social media.

In this tumultuous period of tornadoes and earthquakes, hurricanes, forest fires, and political tensions, a fitting poem:

Lead, Kindly Light

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on; The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead thou me on.
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

So long thy power hast blessed me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone.
And with the morn those Angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

– John Henry Newman

 

Tom Ryan, CSP
Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Paulist Center
5 Park St
Boston, MA 02108
 
Issue 63, Spring 2017

 

The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation: A Year of Unparalleled Opportunity
This anniversary is an occasion to receive the fruits of 50 years of dialogue. To see our relationships with one another in a new light. To discern the presence and action of God’s Spirit in each other’s communities. The time has come, says Tom Ryan, for a purification and healing of memories, and for the restoration of Christian unity in accord with the gospel.
The Mundelein Encounter: A Catholic-Evangelical Model of Ecumenism
John Armstrong describes a recently established Catholic-Evangelical Conversation whose aim through witness, study, and prayer is to clear away misunderstanding that impedes cooperation in mission and common witness. The Conversation seeks to strengthen the ties of our baptism through intentional relationship with other Christians marked by listening, respect, worship and hospitality.
Book Review: Evangelical, Sacramental, and Pentecostal: Why the Church Should Be All Three, by Gordon T. Smith (InterVarsity Press, 2017)
The church is meant to be a community of Spirit, Word, and sacrament. If we prioritize one of these and neglect the other two, we risk severing the main arteries that supply divine life to the church and the nourishment required for a healthy spirituality.
Resources to Keep it Growing 

Program in Ecumenical Studies and Formation is an accredited three-year program, dedicated to forming Christians in the theology, history and practice of ecumenism with the churches of Canada and the U.S. The intended audience of this program includes ecumenical officers; people in training for ministry; ministry practitioners whose work is located within an ecumenical setting; and lay people who wish to increase their knowledge of the ecumenical movement for greater participation. The program assumes no prior theological training and will be offered each year in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, during the final week of June. Students who complete all three years will receive a certificate in Ecumenical Studies and Formation from St. Andrew’s College and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism. 2017 Theme: Baptism & Eucharist. Scholars: Fr. Tom Ryan and Natasha Klukach . For more info contact director@pceumenism.ca

An Ecumenical Conference for Clergy and Laity on the theme of “Repentance and Forgiveness,” sponsored by the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, June 5-7, 2017, Monday evening – Wednesday noon Loyola University, Baltimore, Md.

International Ecumenical Seminar, July 3-10, 2017, in Strasbourg, France, on the topic of “Reformation Identity in Ecumenical Perspective.”

The North American Academy of Ecumenists, September 22-24, 2017 at the Connors Conference Center, Boston College, 20 Glen St, Dover, MA., on the theme: “Worship in Ecumenical Contexts: A Once and Future Vision / What Have We Learned? What are our Limits and Future Possibilities?” For registration info: www.naae.net

Ancient and Holy in Greece – a pilgrimage tour of the classical, byzantine and monastic centers of mainland Greece. September 24-October 7, 2017. An opportunity to experience the earliest Christian communities established by the Apostles in Corinth, Phillipi, Veria and venerate the relics of saints such as St. Andrew the Apostle, St. Demetrius, St. Gregory Palamas.

The 4th International Conference on Receptive Ecumenism, November 6-9, 2017,. Canberra, Australia. Theme: “Leaning into the Spirit: Discernment, Decision-making, and Reception.”

The Women of Mark 16:8

“He is risen! He is not here!”
we heard—and fled
from the empty tomb,
our lips sealed by fear,
to cower in the upper room.

The Good News stayed dead
until, fed by the power of Bread
broken, we arose from our dread
and the Good News was spoken.

Irene Zimmerman

 

Tom Ryan, CSP
Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Paulist Center
5 Park St
Boston, MA 02108
 
Issue 62, Winter 2017

 

Keep the Fire Burning
There have been various allusions over the past decade to the ecumenical movement losing some of its heat and light. Tom Ryan shares invigorating events during the recent Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Boston that remind us all it’s both possible and necessary to throw new logs on the fire.
Catholic-Orthodox Relations: Two New Developments
Ronald Roberson reports on two developments that show the evolving nature of Catholic-Orthodox relations today: the increasing ability of the Orthodox to speak with a single voice, and growing understanding between us of the way our churches related to each other in the period before our division.
Liturgical Dance: Illuminating the Incarnational Nature of Our Faith
The intent of liturgical dance, writes Christine Tardiff, is to enhance, support, and illumine the natural movement of the liturgical action. The minister of dance “speaks” for us all, just as the presider, lector, or cantor “speaks” for the entire assembly at certain points. And for its practitioners, it can be a rich form of religious education.
Resources to Keep it Growing 

National Workshop on Christian Unity, May 1-4, Hilton Hotel, Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN. For more registration information, see www.nwcu.org

An Ecumenical Conference for Clergy and Laity on the theme of “Repentance and Forgiveness,” sponsored by the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, June 5-7, 2017, Monday evening – Wednesday noon Loyola University, Baltimore, Md.

International Ecumenical Seminar,July 3-10, 2017, in Strasbourg, France, on the topic of “Reformation Identity in Ecumenical Perspective.”
 
Rev. Alfred Baca named New Executive Director for USCCB Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Department

“100 Days of Justice”— an online sharing of timely information and useful resources with faith leaders who want to elevate issues of justice, compassion and the common good during the first 100 days of the Trump Administration. On this site, you’ll find meaningful reflections, calls to action, prayers, sermon materials, training opportunities and other resources from leaders of diverse religious, racial, and cultural backgrounds that will enable you to guide your communities during these trying times.

Statement of Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, on the Executive Order on Refugees and Migrants

Statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration and Refugee Office

USCCB Chairmen Express Solidarity with Muslim Community, Deep Concern over Religious Freedom Issues, in Response to Executive Order on Refugees

 

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the Future’s sakes.
                        Robert Frost

 

Tom Ryan, CSP
Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Paulist Center
5 Park St
Boston, MA 02108
 
 
Issue 61, Fall 2016
Deacon Gary Harmeyer, Episcopal priest Father Alan Mead, Catholic priest Father Rene CastilloHoly Apostles: The Story of a Catholic and Episcopalian Joint Parish
The Church’s mission for unity finds a variety of expressions, but few as visionary as a joint parish. Episcopalian co-pastor Fr. Alan Mead relates the history and daily life within Holy Apostles. “Many verbally promote ecumenism, but we live it every day, and in everything we do.
reformation-393x275Commemorating the Reformation:
Churches Looking Together Toward 2017–and Beyond

Thomas Ryan offers a window into the recent North American Academy of Ecumenists meeting. In the 15th century there was a Protestant trajectory and a conflicting Roman Catholic trajectory. But in the last 50 years of Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue, Luther has ceased to be an immoral character, and a theologian who brought some needed reforms in the Church.
Deacon Gary Harmeyer, Episcopal priest Father Alan Mead, Catholic priest Father Rene CastilloCatholic Colleges and Universities and Interreligious Relations
Interreligious understanding in this time of crisis, writes Georgetown U professor Leo Lefebure, is one of the most important imperatives facing Catholic educators. But the present time also offers new possibilities in interreligious relations with opportunities for greater understanding and depth than ever before.

 

Resources to Keep it Growing 

2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – Theme: Reconciliation. The Love of Christ Compels Us (2 Cor 5:14-20) Materials available: Ecumenical prayer service; scriptural commentary on theme; homiletic notes; daily scriptures and prayers; selection of thematic music; prayer cards and posters. To order: www.geii.org Traditional but transferable dates: January 18-25.

Resources for use at locals levels in lead-up events to 500th Anniversary of Protestant Reformation: From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017. The international Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity’s latest report is the first attempt by both dialogue partners to describe together at an international level the history of the Reformation and its intentions. “We invite all Christians to study the report of our Commission both open-mindedly and critically, and to come with us along the way to a deeper communion of all Christians.”

A Study Guide: From Conflict to Communion. “The study guide is designed to increase mutual understanding between Catholics, Lutherans, and other Christians. It is a catalyst for healing and reconciliation both communally and individually. . . . The goal of our mutual commemoration must include remembering our history and continuing our movement toward the unity that Christ wills for his followers.” It is distributed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in booklet form, and is available online.

Common Prayer: Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017 – The Lutheran World Federation and The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity have jointly developed a communal liturgical guide entitled Common Prayer to mark the 500 years of the Reformation in 2017. Based on the recent study report From Conflict to Communion, the Common Prayer is structured around the themes of thanksgiving, repentance and commitment to common witness and includes materials that can be adapted to local liturgical and musical traditions. This 20 page resource is available here in both English and Spanish.

DVD – “This Changed Everything: 500 Years of the Reformation.” A two-disc DVD This Changed Everything: 500 Years of the Reformation is now available. The two-disc set features all three episodes of TCE plus hours of bonus material including extended interviews with the experts and virtual video tours of key Reformation sites. The DVD also comes with a coupon enabling you to stream or download the HD digital version of TCE for free.

Interfaith & Faith – Canada’s 150th anniversary – 2017. Faith in Canada 150 is a growing, multi-faith movement of organizations that is connecting and convening thousands of local leaders and organizations as Canada celebrates its 150th birthday in 2017. You can get involved. We exist to help resource your work. Because of your interfaith work, we would like to invite you to get acquainted with our initiatives and join us at no charge by signing up at the Faith in Canada 150 website. For more information or to get connected, call Faith Alliance Coordinator in Hamilton, Stephen Lazarus at 905-528-8866 ext. 138 or go to http://www.faithincanada150.ca/initiatives/faithalliance.

“Our Evangelical Neighbours – A Catholic Reflection on Evangelical Christianity. A product of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Commission on Christian Unity, this resource provides Catholics an introduction to Evangelical Christianity by exploring the origins of Evangelical Christianity and its similarities and differences to Catholicism. The resource was developed in close collaboration with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC).

Study pilgrimage to India, February 9 – March 2, 2017. Join Thomas Kane of the Paulist Fathers for a special study-pilgrimage–“The Spirit of India”—to explore the spiritual traditions of North and South India. Participants will visit temples, learn of various spiritual traditions and experience the integration of Christianity in cultural contexts where it is a minority among different world religions. Sites include New Delhi, Varanasi, The Taj, Jaipur, Goa and Kerala. Limited to sixteen participants. For itinerary and registration form, see paulist.org/pilgrimages.

National Workshop on Christian Unity, May 1-4, Minneapolis, MN

An inspiring article on how Muslims, Jews, and Christians in a residential enclave in Montreal came to set up a donation center for Syrian refugees and are working together to provide clothing, dishes, school supplies, and toys.

 

Beyond Me

Almost everything is beyond me:
the inner workings of a combustion engine,
the DNA helix,
the orbiting of planets,
how gravity and grace work.

Is there anything that I truly comprehend?
Anything that is not beyond me?

One thing alone,
one thing I understand:
the kindness behind being given
a cup of water,
a word of affirmation,
a smile across a subway aisle.

Robert Morneau

 

Tom Ryan, CSP
Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Paulist Center
5 Park St
Boston, MA 02108

 

 

Issue 60, Summer 2016
  • Ecumenism in Service of Evangelization . . . Not a Question for Many
    In the face of shrinking religious communities today, Michael McGarry proposes that the churches should be working together to reach out to non-church-going Millennials, and that this harmonizing of ecumenism with evangelization represents a currently more important focus than the traditional topics of the ecumenical dialogues.

  • UniteBoston: Recognizing the Family of God
    Noticing that there were so many great things happening around churches in Boston, but little infrastructure to connect the events that were taking place with the people that might be interested in attending, Kelly Steinhaus co-founded UniteBoston in 2010, encouraging people to  go beyond their denominational walls to discover all that God is doing in the city. 

  • The Reformation: The Differences Weren’t as Deep as We Thought
    As a backgrounder to upcoming events commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Thomas Ryan provides some perspectives on how the socio-political context of  the 16th c. made agreement more difficult, and how the Councils of Trent and Vatican II differed in their approaches to the controversial questions.

 

Resources to Keep it Growing 

North American Academy of Ecumenists, September 23-25, will be held near Atlanta, Georgia, at the Candlier School of Theology, Decatur, GA. Theme: “Commemorating the Reformation: Churches Looking Together Toward 2017 and Beyond.”  www.naae.net 


Gospel Call: A Congregational Renewal Event
 bringing Christians together for worship, community, and mission, is a parish mission with an ecumenical spin. Instead of just one preacher, there are two (a Catholic, Thomas Ryan, and a Protestant, John Armstrong) and the co-sponsoring congregations in a town/city/neighborhood take turns hosting the various events.  Available dates for 2017:  February 19-22; May 14-17; November 12-15. For more info, click here, or contact tomryan@paulist.org.


Catholics United with Protestants: On-line Education Program
 
Come to a deeper faith and understanding of your role in developing Christian unity with your community. Discover how you can help in the Church’s call for interdenominational unity. For Catholics and Protestants alike.

 

Blessed are you, nurturing season of summer,
your fruits and vegetables appear on our tables,
changing them into altars.
Tasting of your life, we are made strong. 

 

Tom Ryan, CSP
Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Paulist Center
5 Park St
Boston, MA 02108

 

 

Issue 59, Spring 2016
  • Two Faiths, One Friendship  
    We fear what we don’t know. It takes a lot of courage to recognize that we hold religious or cultural biases and to make a commitment to work on those biases through conversation and friendships. Michal, a Christian, and Sondos, a Muslim, share their story and how they’re helping others cross the line that divides.

  • Approaching the Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation: How Will You Participate?
    This is the first of five centenary observances of the Protestant Reformation to occur in an ecumenical era. Tom Ryan relates how a joint commemoration, both joyful and penitential, is in the offing, with lead-up events beginning on October 31, 2016.

  • How Can Christians Respond to Islamophobia?
    Creating an atmosphere of hospitality and solidarity with Muslims is especially important today. Jordan Denari offers four concrete, action-oriented ideas for encountering anti-Muslim prejudice. 

 

Resources to Keep it Growing 

Summer Ecumenical Leadership Institutes. The Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers is sponsoring two institutes which will take place at the Theological College, across the street from Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. The Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute will take place from Sunday eve, May 22 to Thursday noon May 26, and the Advanced Ecumenical Leadership Institute from Sunday eve, June 5  to Thursday noon, June 9. For more information: www.cadeio.org or contact Fr. Don Rooney at 703-309-8719 or fr.rooney@stmaryfred.org


“The Emerging Christian Minority”
is the theme of  the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology’s annual Pro Ecclesia Conference for clergy and laity,  from 7pm Monday, June 6 through Wednesday, June 8 at Loyola University, Baltimore, MD.  For program and registration info, see www.e-ccet.org/conferences/


“Creation: Our Shared Inheritance,”
is the theme of the Orientale Lumen annual conference, June 21-24. www.olfoundation.net

 

North American Academy of Ecumenists, September 23-25, will meet near Atlanta, Georgia, at the Candlier School of Theology, Decatur, GA. Theme: “Commemorating the Reformation: Churches Looking Together Toward 2017 and Beyond.”  www.naae.net


Gospel Call: A Congregational Renewal Event
 bringing Christians together for worship, community, and mission, is a parish mission with an ecumenical spin. Instead of just one preacher, there are two (a Catholic, Thomas Ryan, and a Protestant, John Armstrong) and the co-sponsoring congregations in a town/city/neighborhood take turns hosting the various events. Next available dates: November 13-16, 2016. For more info, click here, or contact tomryan@paulist.org


The 2017 National Workshop on Christian Unity
will take place May 1-4 in Minneapolis, MN. www.nwcu.org

 

Come, O Spirit of the Risen One

Come, clothe us with the colors of Spring.
Paint our fields and forests with your artist’s brush. 
Fill us with boundless energy and faithful hearts.
Celebrate with us the wonder of risen life. 

A joyous Easter season to you! By the end of May, this office will have a new address:

Tom Ryan, CSP
Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Paulist Center
5 Park St
Boston, MA 02108

unity.paulist.org

Issue 58, Winter 2016
  • Faith Over Fear: Choosing Unity Over Extremism
    Recent events in our country and across our world are deeply troubling. Acts of violence or exclusion have threatened our trust in one another. Thomas Ryan reports on two events in the nation’s capital dedicated to expressing solidarity, understanding, and peace.

  • Reflections on Best Practices in Practical Ecumenism
    Julien Hammond distills his experience from planning many ecumenical and interreligious gatherings and reflects on measuring success, developing resilience, asking forgiveness, and loving one another.

  • Book Review – Christian Unity: How You Can Make a Difference
    In his review, Evangelical leader Gordon Smith describes how “this book is an accessible guide for pastors and lay leaders to how they can, within their communities and cities, actively pursue unity with Christians from other traditions.”

Resources to Keep It Growing
  • Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25. The theme, ”Called to Proclaim the Mighty Acts of the Lord” (1 Peter 2:9) highlights the relationship between baptism and proclamation/witness. For background and preparatory materials, prayer service and a daily scripture and prayer guide, click here.
  • 4th Annual De Margerie Series, January 21-24, Saskatoon, SK. The speaker will be Bishop Kenneth Kearon who served the Anglican Communion as Secretary General from 2004 to 2014 and was recently consecrated as the Anglican bishop of Limerick and Killaloe in Ireland. Keynote talk theme: “On Building an Ecumenical Barn.” Sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, St Thomas More College and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Events are open and free.
  • World Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1-7. Unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2010, WIHM Recognizes that the moral imperatives of all religions, convictions and beliefs call for peace, tolerance and mutual understanding.
  • An Interfaith Retreat Weekend, “The Wisdom of Aging with Grace: A Multifaith Exploration,” April 8-10, with Rabbi Rachel Cowan, Zen Buddhist teacher Norman Fischer, and Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP, at the Garrison Institute, 14 Mary’s Way, Route 9D at Glenclyffe, Garrison, NY; garrisoninstitute.org; 845-424-4800. Download this flyer for more information.
  • National Workshop on Christian Unity, April 18-21, will be held in Louisville, KY.
  • Summer Ecumenical Leadership Institutes. The Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers is sponsoring two institutes which will take place at the Theological College, across the street from Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. The Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute will take place May 22-26, and the Advanced Ecumenical Leadership Institute June 6-10. More information will soon be posted at www.cadeio.org
  • North American Academy of Ecumenists, September 23-25, will be held near Atlanta, Georgia, at the Candlier School of Theology, Decatur, GA. Theme: Commemorating the Reformation: Churches Looking Together Toward 2017.
  • The Ecumenical Movement: An Anthology of Key Texts and Voices – Included in this updated collection are the most widely influential texts produced by assemblies and consultations of the World Council of Churches and other ecumenical bodies, as well as statements by leading ecumenists, all carefully selected, edited, and introduced. “At this critical juncture,” says editor Michael Kinnamon, “this book brings together ‘texts and voices’ that reveal both the profound legacy of the ecumenical movement and the spiritual, theological basis on which it can build to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.” Print this flyer.

A Winter Blessing

Blessed are you winter,
you teach us valuable lessons
about waiting in darkness
with hope and trust.

Blessed are you winter,
frozen and cold on the outside,
within your silent, nurturing womb
you warmly welcome all that longs for renewal.

Joyce Rupp

Tom Ryan, CSP
Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
North American Paulist Center 
3015 Fourth Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20017-1102

Tel: 202-269-2511 
Fax: 202-269-2507

unity.paulist.org