Reflection: A list of '95 Actions'
A minister once observed, ‘everywhere St Paul went there was a revolution. Everywhere I go there is a cup of tea’.
500 years ago, Martin Luther’s ‘95 Theses’ caused a revolution. Today, this is a list of ’95 Actions’ is a personal Reflection. It is a list orgainsiations, activities and events that could not have been envisaged in Luther's day, but very evident in our own. The list is not exclusive to CTE, perfect, or in any order, but, I hope, a snapshot of the churches in England now and an encouragement in fulfilling the prayer of Jesus in John 17: 20,21 for the future.
Churches Together in England (CTE) exists. 45 national churches have committed to journey together. Reps meet x2 per year. Theos reported ‘encouraged by all were hearing’. There has been 30 years development since the Swanwick Declaration. 100 people recently attend CTE Reformation Conference. Church leaders mark unity in Westminster Abbey. Reformation unity conferences around the country. Unity seminars given. Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal Nichols on BBC together.
Angela Merkal attends Reformation unity service in Wittenberg. There are International agreed statements on Justification. Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) meet regularly, as does English ARC. The Archbishop of Canterbury recently had a 4th meeting with Pope Francis. New Anglican Representative to the Holy See just appointed. World Council of Churches working with World Evangelical Alliance. International collaboration of churches for refugees, water aid, and ethical investment.
6 Co-Presidents of CTE. His Grace Bishop Angaelos and Pastor Agu start new terms. Presidents sign a Covenant to pray and witness together. Presidents commended Thy Kingdom Come prayer for people to be followers of Jesus. Joint Beacon events held for prayer held across England. National church leaders meet together. Over 1500 local groups of Churches Together. 49 CTE Bodies in Association. 3 CTE Agencies: CAFOD, Christian Aid and Christian Enquiry Agency.
Local Missions. Stadium Evangelism. City Intercessors. Food banks. Street pastors. Debt Counselling. Joint church magazines. Outreach to New Housing Areas. Church Plants. 800 Local Ecumenical Partnerships. Ecumenical Chaplaincies. Inter faith dialogue. Pulpit swaps. Prayer networks for schools, Police and Local Authorities. Partnership programs. Joint community venture. Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Joint evangelistic visiting. Sports Chaplaincy. Healing on the Streets. Counselling. Children’s and Youth activities. Justice Campaigns. Joint worship. Walks and Pilgrimages. Open Air Witness.
A New Framework for Local Ecumenism. Resources for Receptive Ecumenism. National Ecumenical Officers. County Ecumenical Officers. Working with Hope Together; 115 We Gather groups; 1000 at Movement Day UK conference for unity and mission. CTE Presidents in Parliament Square with Evangelical Alliance. New groups of churches in mission together. Local leaders pray together. New joint ventures in mission and business transforming local communities.
CTE website 1000 areas. Average 10,000 page requests per day. Monthly mailing of News. Daily twitter feed @churchesengland. Annual Leaflet and Annual Review. Reports eg Behind Closed Doors and CTE initiatives like They Also Served. One off Symposiums, Occasional papers, Reports, Meetings and Working Parties, Research and Reporting.
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Action for Churches Together in Scotland, Cytûn in Wales. Irish Council of Churches. Joint Public Issues Team. Joint Liturgical Commission. Ecumenical Studies. One in Christ journal and 2018 CTE Forum. That’s 95 Actions, exhausting but not exhaustive to show the breadth of unity and mission in the English church today.
Be encouragement, you are part of the journey making a difference with Jesus. More tea?
Jim Currin is a Church Army Evangelist and member of staff at CTE for Evangelisation, Mission and Media.