Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grass Root Religion

I think that we could all agree that the various leaders of the Christian Churches should be in dialogue with one another, looking for points of agreement, areas of cooperation and challenges to their own perspective. But, they cannot be the driving forces behind true Christian ecumenical fellowship. Even the recent agreement of full communion with the Lutheran Church in Canada was forged for generations in places where local, grass roots people chose to be in communion with one another.

Even the City of Charlottetown might be too large of a place for ecumenical relations to grow. This is why it is so wonderful that the Churches of Prince Street have chosen to work together on various projects and joint services in recent years. Of course, this has happened in the past, it is just wonderful that it continues and seems to be growing. There is far more that draws us together than drives us apart.

This year the Prince Street Churches are planning another Advent Series, focusing on appropriate themes for Advent as we approach Christmas. This Advent Series will be held on Wednesdays and will start at 12:05 pm, hopefully allowing time for people who work downtown to also attend during their lunch break. Each service will be followed by a light lunch hosted by each Church.

• The first will be November 25 here at St. Paul’s Church and our focus will be on the propjet Jeremiah. God appointed Jeremiah to confront Judah and Jerusalem for the worship of idols and other violations.

• The second will be held on December 2 and will be hosted by the First Baptist Church. Their focus is around Malachi. The last of the twelve minor prophets (canonically), the final book of the Old Testament. The word Malachi means "My [i.e., God's] messenger".

• On December 9 the third part of the series will be held at Zion Presbyterian Church and Zephaniah will be the prophet that is at the centre of the theme. The Book of Zephaniah attributes its authorship to “Zephaniah son of Cushi son of Gedaliah son of Amariah son of Hezekiah…” All that is known of him comes from the text.

• The final meeting will be on December 16 at Trinity United Church and the focus will be Bethlehem. Bethlehem, located in the "hill country" of Judah, may be the same as the Biblical Ephrath which means "fertile". There are two accounts in the Bible that say Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

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