This post relates to the seventh critical issue in Called to be One: What Now?, Life in the Spirit and the Whole of Creation .
This seventh section begins: Ecumenism reflects acceptance of ‘I have need of you’ in solidarity with the whole of creation. The whole world needs the gospel, and for this only a life in the Spirit is adequate, which comes via prayer.
It's difficult to grasp what this critical issue is about, unless it is a concern that young people are disconnected.
Of course, Christians should be in solidarity with one another. That they frequently achieve deadly enemy status is a scandal. The aim of such solidarity is not unity between the churches but the reconciliation of all things to God. This is an outrageous claim.
The world can manage perfectly well without the Gospel. The Gospel is a gift from God for the community of followers of Jesus Christ. The world functions without the Gospel and so we need to take care our claims do not sound like Christian triumphalism.
Spiritual ecumenism is a modest approach, with significant potential and so we really don't need grandiose claims. Why? The world does not need the Gospel because the world is a sinful place, a world that has evolved , not according to some great divine plan but along its own lines of least resistance. This has resulted in sentient and self-centred humanity.
The second paragraph is better (apart from 'the spiritual dimension', whatever that's supposed to be). Here we learn the purpose of prayer is to highlight our differences and through slowing down and listening to God, form a counter culture.
We need to understand how small scale much of this is. Our faith brings meaning into a world created by chance. We find that out of unregarded gestures, our relationships, torn between a fallen world and a God we can hardly comprehend, we sometimes make sense of the bizarre circumstances we inhabit.
Through prayer we learn to understand our world at a deeper level, and this understanding helps us respond to the world in creative and relevant ways. Perhaps when we pray together out of our various traditions, we can share complementary insights which will build on our response to the world together.