Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ecumenical Service at Church of Divine Mercy, 24 January 2011




There were Christian leaders from various denominations from Roman Catholics to Syrian Orthodox, from Methodist, Anglican, to independent Pentecostal-Charismatic churches attending the ecumenical service. There were no Presbyterian leaders.

The theme for this year: "They devoted themselves to the Apostles' Teaching, Fellowship, Breaking of Bread and Prayer." (Acts 2: 43 - 47)

The service started with Taize-styled worship before each of the church leaders preached on each of the four constituting elements of the universal church:

Dr Roy Joseph (MarThoma Syrian Church) on 'One in the Apostles' Teaching'.

Rev Dr Edward Keith Pousson (Victory Family Centre) on 'One in Fellowship'.

Rev Dr Lorna Khoo (Aldersgate Methodist Church) on 'One in the Breaking of Bread'.

Rev Joseph God (Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd) on 'One in Prayer'.

Rev Monsignor Eugene Vaz (Vicar General of Singapore's Catholic Archdiocese Curia) as the moderator.

The service ended with the singing of Francis of Asisi's hymn 'Make me a channel of your peace'.

The service was not done in a way that blurred the distinctive among the different communities, but to seek unity among diversity. Each of the speakers spoke from within their tradition and I do sensed the different hermeneutics being used in their messages. Pousson talked about the formation of family at the feet of the cross, drawing from Jesus' constituting his disciple as the son of Mary and Mary as the mother as the disciple, while hanging on the cross. Khoo emphasized that the differences in the understanding of Christ's presence during the Eucharist/Holy Communion should not cloud the fact that Christ is really present during the breaking of bread.

After we reached home, I asked Andreas when will we see the churches really come together as the one visible body of Christ. He replied that the churches will come as one in Christ's second coming.

It then got me thinking, if that is the case, then we should be praying for Christ's second coming instead of praying for unity among churches. Praying for unity would be putting the equation the other way around. Anyway, we prayed.

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