February 19, 2006

Helmut Harder - “One Church Bound Together by Grace”

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Helmut Harder pointed out that Paul's letter to the Ephesians would have circulated among the early churches. Paul calls individual believers and congregations to be true to their calling: with gentleness and patience make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit. Helmut represented Mennonite World Conference at a number of ecumenical meetings in recent years. In one week long meeting 20 diverse people worked together on 16th century martyrs. Helmut defined a martyr as one who is a faithful witness till the end of life. Roman Catholics apologized for how they treated Menno Simons. Helmut observed that while Mennonites are action oriented, Catholics focus on spirituality. The Mennonites asked the Catholics: What do you want from us? They were told: "We want to know what a peace church is." When Mennonites were asked what they wanted from Catholics, they said: "We're a divisive group, we want to know your view of community." Helmut believes oneness of the Spirit, cooperation, sharing, and respect must happen at a local level. We need to hear what the Spirit says to us through other churches. Helmut suggested intentional dialogue at the grass roots level along with mutual exploration of 1 Cor. 3:11: "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ", and we should state clearly that non- violence is an essential part of the gospel. One ecumenical group said: "We lament that we are divided and that our divisions too often result in distrust, fear and even hostility between us. We long for the broken body of Christ made whole, where unity can be celebrated in the midst of our diversity." (HN)


Passage: Eph 4:3-16
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event:
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Helmut Harder
Worship Leader: Henry Neufeld
Song Leader: Eric Hannan
Pianist: Ruth Enns
Usher: Peter Neudorf
Zoom Coordinator:
Children's Feature Leader:


Bring Flowers: ED & FRIEDA EPP
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