The Household, ‘oikoumene’, of Jesus
Ecumenical is an adjective applied to the inter-relationship of people and church organizations of the multi-various Christian traditions. It is derived from the more ancient sense of oikoumene expressed on the ‘Eco 1: people’ page.
Given the tendencies of some Christian traditions to depart from the unique, universal Lordship of Jesus and the necessity, reliability, and sufficiency of scripture to inform the life and practice of the Church, ‘ecumenical’ is a word held in some disregard in many circles.
Personally I prefer the ecumenicism expressed by such organizations the Lausanne Congress for World Evangelism and the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students to much of what is entitled ‘ecumenical’ within World Council of Churches circles. However, Lesslie Newbigin, one of the formative influences in my thinking on mission and culture, managed to bridge both worlds in faithfulness to our Lord.
In the context of this blog ‘ecumenical’ primarily means the household of Jesus, the Holy Catholic (not necessarily Roman) Church, the body of believers through time and space.
As a word derived from ‘oikos’ in a sense different from that of the inhabited world ‘ecumenical’ takes its place as the 4th ‘eco’ of
Curated Links: Eco of the 4th Kind
(I receive no compensation for these endorsements of ministries. I simply believe they are worth trumpeting to the glory of Jesus.)
The Deeper Christian Life Network featuring the ministry of Frank Viola is a valuable discipleship initiative within the Body of Christ. For reasons Frank explains well it is a subscription service that opens for new members about four times in a year. Personally I benefit much from this adventure together and find the $30.00 US per month to be money well invested in kingdom partnership.
(a regional expression of Presbyterian & Reformed Ministries International, see also the Dunamis Institute) This is the most balanced, Biblical, practical teaching on the power of the Holy Spirit available for ministry in obedience to Christ that I have found. I cannot recommend this group highly enough. Part missionary fellowship, part practical training school for ministry (seminary), part international prayer network, Dunamis Fellowship / PRMI is dedicated to building up local congregations to work, to dance, along with the Trinity in order to accomplish God’s will on earth as it is done in heaven. Here by God’s grace we may find a cure to our operational binitarianism.
I discovered this ministry late in my time in Guyana South America. I wish I had discovered it earlier. It uses a very simple method to teach profound truths. When next I am involved in ministry beyond my immediate family and friends I plan to use these resources to train with fellow disciples in the communal art of listening to the Holy Spirit.
When my life fell apart in 2007, parishoners put me on to this retreat centre / healing ministry, even to the extent of providing financial aid for me to attend programs in the summer of 2008. Singing Waters emphasizes our identity in Christ, the Father love of God, and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit for everyday life and ministry. In 2011 my then pastor, Tim Archibald, suggested I spend time in Christian community for further healing and vocational guidance. So I turned around and signed up for the Summer School of Restoration (Isaiah 61 School of Ministry part 1) and then completed their flagship Isaiah 61 School of Ministry in Feb / March 2012. Singing Waters also offers weekend programs, personal ministry sessions, room & board on private retreats, and conference facilities for groups. The Notawasaga river wanders through the beautiful grounds. The main lodge is perched on the escarpement of the river valley. the places has been prayed over for more thant 50 years and the atmosphere and grounds are, by God’s grace, a healing balm in themselves.
(Discernment is necessary in all things. While Singing Waters is spiritually sound most of the time I would be careful of teaching on alternate medicine. Some of it is good, some of what I’ve heard, like vaccine denial, and wheat-gluten bashing is highly questionable.)
In 2007 I was having trouble finding appropriate treatment for what was then identified as the following mental illnesses: Major Depressive Disorder & Generalized Anxiety Disorder & something that was later diagnosed as Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. (Combined with a chronic headache I was one sick hombre.) So, my presbytery sent me to Buena Vista Colorado to spend 11 days of intensive outpatient therapy with Peter Kuiper, a licensed clinical social worker who uses something like cognitive behavioural therapy, combined with Biblical teaching on our identity in Christ and practical exercises in following Holy Spirit’s lead to receive the healing that God has in store. This was a watershed time in recovering from all the rubbish that had accumulated in my soul and learning to live in my own skin. I am so thankful to God for the gracious way he looked after me through Pickering Presybtery, Grace Church, Peter Kuiper & Cross Roads Counselling of the Rockies. It was the beginning of my resurrection to health and well being.
(I believe the following books are worth trumpeting to the glory of Jesus. I also receive commissions for any books purchased through Amazon.ca links.)