Cuthbert United Methodist Church
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

ECUMENICAL SPIRIT IN WORSHIP

You’ll often hear United Methodists saying, “I grew up (Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran….) but when I needed a new church home, I found myself totally comfortable in United Methodist worship style.”   This is for several reasons: United Methodists tend to be “middle of the road” in the theological spectrum, and also have an deliberately open way of approaching differences  (Wesley said, “If your heart is as my heart, take my hand.”).  As supporters of the catholic/universal Church, we recognize baptisms from any denomination.  United Methodists also are a part of an Ecumenical Movement for Christian Unity which began in the mid-1900’s, bringing worship from many Protestant and Catholic denominations closer together. By studying our common roots in early Church practices, many denominations have aligned the shape of their worship to the Word and Table pattern that we follow.  Also, in ecumenical consultation, liturgies such as “The Great Thanksgiving” and “Thanksgiving over the Water” were re-written to better reflect ancient prayers of the Church, while speaking in modern language.  So now, when people from other denominations experience United Methodist worship, they often hear familiar words and sense a similar order to worship. This is one way that we are living into Jesus’ prayer “that we all may be one.”  When we stand together in worship this week, remember and rejoice that we are standing firmly in the tradition of Christians all over the world, and throughout history!