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The Fruit of Prayer: Spiritual Disciplines for Ecumenism

We are pleased to publish this essay by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, an ordained pastor in the ELCA, assistant research professor at the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France, and the editor of Lutheran Forum. Look for more pieces from Dr. Wilson in the future.

The Fruit of Prayer
Spiritual Disciplines for Ecumenism

In some ways ecumenism is a threatening undertaking. Our churches have become comfortable with their separated existences, which sometimes have been established for centuries. Our natural instinct is to protect our own interests, our own family, or our own heritage. It sometimes seems that, if ecumenism’s goal is to say we’re all one, then all the things our ancestors fought for, all the things we love most dearly, are suddenly worthless. On the flip side, we often see things in other churches that disturb us greatly. Sometimes we don’t understand them and so misinterpret them; but sometimes we do understand them and we disagree profoundly. In this light, ecumenism may seem like a big reduction into meaninglessness, claiming that nothing is really right or wrong, good or bad.

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