29 November, 2022

Sowing Seeds of Unity

by | 14 October, 2014 | 1 comment

Almost 300 attended the unity worship service at First Christian Church Abilene, Texas, October 5.

Almost 300 attended the unity worship service at First Christian Church Abilene, Texas, October 5.

By Mark A. Taylor

Two weekends ago (October 5, 6, 2014) I attended the 19th annual gathering of the Stone-Campbell Dialogue, this year in Abilene, Texas. It was a wonderful gathering! I had the privilege of preaching at the Minter Lane Church of Christ before the Dialogue convened, and I enjoyed rich fellowship with members and leaders of all three “streams” of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement.

The goal of the Dialogue is to foster understanding, trust, and partnership among these “streams”: the Christian churches/churches of Christ (my group); the traditionally a cappella churches of Christ; and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

The below copy, excerpted from the news release distributed after the event, gives some facts and figures about this meeting. It is only an indication of moves toward unity experienced among individuals and congregations in these three groups.

Unity is not uniformity. Unity does not assume that everyone agrees or even that everyone is right. But unity does lift up the lordship of Jesus Christ and agree on our desire to seek and serve him and understand his will. By that definition, seeds of unity are sown every time this Dialogue convenes.

An estimated 250-300 members of churches of Christ, Disciples of Christ, and Christian churches and churches of Christ came together for an evening worship service and observance of the Lord”s Supper on Sunday, October 5, at First Christian Church.

The service included presentations on the history and nature of the Stone-Campbell Dialogue by Newell Williams, President of Brite Divinity School at TCU, and Doug Foster, professor of church history and director of the Center for Restoration Studies at Abilene Christian University. Reports were also offered from representatives of the three “streams” of the Stone-Campbell movement reflecting on the progress and challenges experienced today by their churches: Robert K. Welsh, president with the Disciples” Council on Christian Unity; Mark A. Taylor, editor and publisher of Christian Standard; and Gary Holloway, executive director with World Convention.

Foster hosted the session on Monday, October 6, at Abilene Christian University. The theme of this year”s event was “It Doesn”t Look Like Church To Me,” which focused on the development of new churches in the changing context of North American society.

Kent Smith of Abilene Christian University described how and why

Kent Smith of Abilene Christian University described how and why “new church” experiences are happening across America.

About 50 students, professors, and Christian leaders heard Kent Smith, professor of missional formation and director of Abilene Christian University”s Missional Residency for North America, set the stage for the discussion by describing how and why “new church” experiences are happening across America.

Four speakers with roots in the Stone-Campbell heritage described their experience with alternative expressions of Christian fellowship and worship: Laura Callarman, Abilene, Texas; Jared Looney, New York, New York; Joel Brown, Chicago, Illinois; and Blake Ryan, Corona, California.

Members of the Dialogue national planning team met Monday afternoon and evening to discuss and discern unity progress among the three groups and to decide future directions. Their plan is to continue meeting for at least five years. They made preliminary plans for next year”s event, to focus on racial reconciliation and to meet in St. Louis, Missouri, in October, 2015.

Those attending from the national team were:Ron Degges, Andy Mangum, Bob Riester, Robert Welsh, and Newell Williams from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ);Albert Acosta, Doug Foster, Claire Frederick, Gary Holloway, D’Esta Love, Kavian McMillon, and Jerry Taylor, from the churches of Christ; and Bill Baker, Alicia Crumpton, Karen Diefendorf, Mark Taylor, and Guthrie Veech from the Christian churches/churches of Christ.

<a href="https://christianstandard.com/author/admin/" target="_self">Christian Standard</a>

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com

1 Comment

  1. Mary E. Rhodes

    I have been a Christian since I was thirteen, and unity would be wonderful, but we cannot have unity “at all cost.” Christians cannot support brethren that “go on and do not abide in the doctrine of Christ.” We must have authority for what is taught and practiced in our worship services, and NOT do something just because we might like it. We are to assemble on The Lord’s Day (Sunday) to worship in spirit and truth. We have Christian churches having the Lord’s Supper on Saturday evening to accommodate people who don’t want to get up on The Lord’s Day. They support ball teams, Boy Scouts, and many other things that are NOT the work of The Church, those are the responsibility of the family and the schools. For some, it is so easy to be influenced by these groups that offer all these things. The New Tesament Church is a very simple structure, elders, deacons, preacher and all Christians. We are to spread The Word and not what the world offers, many congregations have subscribed to all these innovations, wanting to make people happy. God does not call this a “good thing,” but will judge these brethren accordingly. God Bless all of us to “stand in The Word” always. Thank You very much for listing this, M.E. Rhodes, Louisville, KY.

Latest Articles

Ministry Help Wanted

Yoncalla Church of Christ in Oregon is seeking a senior minister. Johnson University has an opening for Professor of New Testament. First Christian Church in Meadville, PA, is looking for their next student minister. Plus other ministry opportunities.

Stories

By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.