Workshop on Christian Unity to meet in Washington
Oct. 2, 2006
A UMNS Report
By Linda Bloom*
The quest for unity among Christian denominations isn’t always evident from the pews of the local church.
That’s why Allen Johnson is encouraging United Methodists to
participate in the 2007 National Workshop on Christian Unity Jan.
29-Feb. 1 in the Washington area.
Johnson, a layperson from White Bluff, Tenn., is chairman of the
workshop planning committee and a member of the United Methodist
Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns.
The workshop gives both laity and clergy “the sense there is an
ongoing effort by the communions to reconcile their differences,”
according to Johnson.
He noted that the differences often are related to traditions, rather
than doctrinal issues. However, traditions must be respected and
honored as well, added Johnson, who said he has become “more and more
aware of the significance of traditions that are taking on doctrinal
Understanding of unity issues can be gained through information and
dialogue available at the workshop. “People are much more accepting when
they know the nature of the differences (among communions),” Johnson
Two worship services scheduled during the workshop are of particular
interest to United Methodists. An Episcopal-Lutheran-United Methodist
Eucharist will be celebrated at 6 p.m. Jan. 30 at Arlington Temple
United Methodist Church. The service highlights the interim
Eucharist-sharing agreements that the United Methodists have with the
other two communions. United Methodist Bishop Charlene Kammerer of
Virginia is expected to participate.
A worship service related to Churches Uniting in Christ, of which the
United Methodist Church is a member communion, is planned for 5:30 p.m.
on Jan. 31 at Metropolitan AME Church.
Other highlights of the workshop include an opening prayer service
and reception at the Washington National Cathedral; a keynote address by
Brother Jeffrey Gros, a Roman Catholic long involved in ecumenism;
Bible study led by the Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell of the National
Council of Churches; a panel on faith and politics; and an optional
evening cultural event on the Washington Mall.
In addition, participants can choose from eight daily seminars on
critical ecumenical issues and attend meetings of denominational
The Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va., is the headquarters
for the event. Updated information and online registration is available
at www.nwcu.org, the workshop Web site.
*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.