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  • January 9, 2009

    Fear in Ecumenism


    I am enjoying teaching my class on Spiritual Ecumenism at Union/PSCE in Richmond.

    We have had some interesting question and answers/discussions.

    The question of Fear in ecumenism did arise.
    This is a good question–because something new can arouse our fear.

    In dialogue with others we can encounter others’ ways of thinking that are quite different from ours. This experience can be quite stimulating. But it can also lead us to question our own views–fear can arise at this point. We might ask ourselves–Am I losing something really important if I adopt these ideas?

    While often what others believe complements what we believe, at other times, others’ beliefs challenge our own.

    Time in prayer–quiet prayer–can be critical at this juncture. Our fears can surface during our prayer time. We can turn them over to the Spirit–and also give some deeper consideration to what we are afraid of. Our fears can be irrational–or related to past experiences and not the present one …. As we pray we may see the wisdom of others–or our own wisdom–or the integration of both wisdoms.

    Prayer is important as we sort through our fears–and come to a deeper level of ecumenical conversation.