Conference Committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns

May 29, 2013

By The Rev. Hubert Ivery, Chairperson

The work of the Conference Commission on Christian Unity is to promote interfaith and ecumenical relationships with Christian and faith-based groups within the California-Nevada Annual Conference.
 
As part of our work, we sponsor a luncheon each year at our Annual Conference session. This year's luncheon will take place on Thursday, June 20th at 12 Noon, at First United Methodist Church in Sacramento, which is located at 2100 J Street (21st Street). The cost for lunch is $15. Greg Bedard, of California Interfaith Power and Light, will share with us the environmental challenges we are facing in our communities today, and what we can do to address them with our interfaith partners. For additional information see our website.
 
It is our hope that every church in our conference will find an opportunity for ecumenical and interfaith engagement, particularly with our recent ecumenical partners the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Pan Methodist churches. During the last General Conference we celebrated Full Communion with Pan Methodist churches.
 
Local churches are encouraged to reach out in the spirit of celebration as we affirm these new relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ. For additional information visit the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations. We are in dialogue with many other Christian churches, including the Roman Catholic Church. The goal is the eventual establishment of Full Communion with these churches; however, there is intrinsic value in the dialogues.
 
We are pleased to announce the launching of our website. Please visit to learn more about the work of CCCUIC and upcoming events. The development of the site is ongoing as we will be adding additional information and resources. One of our goals is to offer online training opportunities for local churches. We would also like to invite churches and pastors to submit photos, videos, celebrations, notices and other information about recent and upcoming events. We want site visitors to be able to get a quick view of ecumenical and interfaith happenings as well as identify some possibilities for their own use.
 
The Committee also promotes The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This is a time during which churches can be intentional about fostering interfaith relationship with other churches in their community. This relationship can take the form of celebration, prayer breakfast, forum, project or some other joint venture.
 
CCCUIC is committed to not only advancing the work of ecumenism and interreligious relationships and dialogue, but we are also committed to our own learning, and the building of connections with interfaith groups that are established on the global, national, state, and local levels. We hope to provide a list of these on the website in the near future.
 
Each year one or more members of our Committee attend the National Workshop on Christian Unity. This has been a time to meet with ecumenical representatives from our General Church office, United Methodists, and other Methodists from around the country, and representatives from other denominations. The workshop covers a broad range of topics which in the past included history, the latest activities, issues, projects, trends, spiritual practices, theological views, challenges and concern and strategies, as well as shared opportunities for prayer, worship, and Bible Study. The NWCU and other local events provide opportunities for continuing education for our group.
 
Ecumenical and Interfaith work is a very fulfilling ministry, as it provides an opportunity to help churches, and other faith groups, to create spaces for people from different traditions. People of faith and various cultural circumstances can learn about themselves and others, work to overcome challenges, and create bridges toward the end of building a better world. If you share this outlook, please consider becoming a CCCUIC member or assisting us with this work; contact Hubert Ivery.
 
The ecumenical model of Full Communion means that these communions recognize: a) in each other "the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith" as expressed in the Scriptures, confessed in the Church's historic creeds, and attested to in the Lutheran Confessions and the doctrinal standards of the UMC, b) the authenticity of each other's Baptism and Eucharist and extend sacramental hospitality to one another's members, c) the validity of each communion's respective ministries, d) the full interchangeability and reciprocity of all ordained ministers, subject to approved invitation for ministry in each communion, and e) a relationship of working together toward greater visible unity and structural cooperation between these communions.

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For a list of all mealtime events scheduled during 2013 Annual Conference Session, visit the 2013 ACS: Mealtime Event page here.