Back in the 50’s and 60’s, it was thought that 500-year-old church divisions could be healed if churches reached across denominational lines and got to know each other. This was an exciting time for the churches in Irvington, as all the fundamental theological issues between the Protestant, Catholic, and Anglican Churches were on the way to being resolved. Today it’s fair to say that schisms are a thing of the past, at least on a theological level.
However, the challenge remains at the local level as to how official ecumenical agreements enter into the daily thinking of clergy and congregations. In this day and age of “push back” and the surge of “My tribe vs. your tribe” identity politics, it’s important that we affirm when possible a spirit of church unity and co-operation. Hence, I am very grateful to Blaine Crawford, the minister at IPC, for suggesting that IPC, St. B’s, and Aldersgate United Methodist Church join together for Holy Week services (please refer to the notice below for details).
Although the last 20 years have felt like an “Ecumenical winter,” as far as denominations working together, there is no reason why we cannot declare that it is springtime again in our corner of God’s kingdom and unite to witness a deeper truth: Jesus Christ wills one Church, and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will provide for ministries and missions in the midst of 21st century realities.
Onward in Hope,
Gareth Evans serves as the rector of St. Barnabas. He is an inspirational leader who brings significant pastoral experience, a depth of reverence in worship, and a relatable preaching style.