First Steps Toward Mending Broken Relationships

By Mark A. Taylor

When I’m convinced I’m right and you’re wrong, I can find many justifications for refusing to give you a call. The first step toward mending a broken relationship is sometimes the most difficult.

This is especially true when it comes to religion. It’s not just that I feel those folks in the church building down the street are mixed up. I’ve got chapter and verse to prove it.

Unfortunately, nowhere has this been more evident than between some in each of the three “streams” of the Restoration Movement.

But would it be possible to focus on those areas where we do agree? Since Christian churches and churches of Christ across the world weekly worship Jesus by remembering his death, burial, and resurrection, could we say, “Here is common ground where we can meet together”? Could we take the first step toward mending a relationship by observing the Lord’s Supper together?

This is exactly what a 16-member task force is suggesting. These folks, from Christian churches, Disciples of Christ congregations, and a cappella churches of Christ, are suggesting a Great Communion celebration October 4, 2009. They’re calling Christian churches and churches of Christ everywhere to plan joint celebrations of the Lord’s Supper in communities across the land that Sunday.

They’ve set that time because it is the 100-year anniversary of the grand Centennial Convention of Christian churches that met in Pittsburgh in 1909. That celebration marked the 100-year anniversary of Thomas Campbell’s Declaration and Address published in 1809. With this celebration in 2009, we’ll remember two centuries of its influence on the Restoration Movement with its magnificent assertion that “The church of Christ upon earth is essentially, intentionally, and constitutionally one.”

Background and ideas for the Great Communion are at www.greatcommunion.org. Now is not too soon for your church to plan on enjoying this celebration with congregations close to you that share your heritage.

And you can do one thing more. This project, coordinated by the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, requires a modest budget that is already overspent. The Historical Society, as most of our readers know, is not aligned with any of the three “streams” of the movement but provides its service to all without discrimination. Its leadership in this initiative has been crucial.

You can help. Send a check marked “Bicentennial Celebration” to the Historical Society at 1101 19th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee. Your support will facilitate many first steps toward mending broken relationships.

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