I recently attended a delicious breakfast at a nearby Catholic church to meet their new priest. I sat with a Presbyterian, an A.M.E, a Lutheran, 2 Orthodox, an Episcopalian and 2 Catholic pastors. We had not been together all summer, so it was great to catch up and to meet the newest member of our group. I am also involved in my county Ministerial Association and KY Council of Churches which adds non-denominational, Methodist, Baptist, C.M.E., Free Methodist, Church of God, Assembly of God, and some others I am probably forgetting. My Green Chalice work has allowed me to work with Ecumenical and Interfaith partners who I am blessed to call my friends.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was born out of a unity movement. As my Catholic friend likes to say, “the Disciples have always played well with others.” But it is not always easy. Some of my colleagues are from traditions that do not recognize my ordination, will not come to the Lord’s Table with me, and have very different ideas about what it means to follow Jesus. Many women pastors have been hurt by male colleagues. Many black pastors have not been invited or included by their white colleagues. I know many pastors who because their schedules are so tight, choose to not be involved in ecumenical or interfaith groups. I understand the struggles, but Jesus calls me to continue to show up. In today’s atmosphere of division, I believe it is more important than ever to show up and “play well with others.” We need to get to know the rest of the Body of Christ and the faith family. We need to have lunch together, laugh together, worship together and serve God together.
Scripture calls us to “be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Phil. 2.2). “And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity” (Col 3.14). It is that simple, it is that hard. Jesus does not call us to the comfortable life or to walk the easy path, but when we follow him, the rewards are awesome!
Minister of Green Chalice