“26 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life.
I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential,
not many from high-society families. 27 Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately
chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses,
28 chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”?
29 That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God.
30 Everything that we have–right thinking and right living,
a clean slate and a fresh start–comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.
31 That’s why we have the saying,
“If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”
__________________________________________________I Corinthians 1:26-31 (The Message)
The MCC Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Strategic Team Purpose
(Below is a sample of the full Team Purpose statements. Download the full statements below as well – English version updated 2011, Older Spanish version on resources page.)
MCC’s Statement of Direction challenges us “to proclaim a spirituality that is liberating and sufficiently profound to address the issues of our chaotic and complicated world.” Leadership and participation in ecumenical and inter-religious work is a critical component in fulfilling this call. As ecumenical/inter-religious partners, we unite across denominational and religious lines to advocate an inclusive and genuine respect for the sacred worth of all people; to reduce human suffering; and to establish justice, peace and equality in the world.
Ecumenical / Inter-religious Guiding Scriptures
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is … to dwell together in unity!”
“…what does God require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
God has been up to something unique with MCC since our beginnings. We are an inclusive and diverse church for all people. We do welcome, affirm and celebrate the goodness and worth of LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) people and the Queer community. And yet, we are still more.
We are compelled to work for justice for all creation, including environmental protection, peace, and the end to poverty, racism, oppression for LGBTI people, etc. From our beginnings, ecumenism and inter-religious work has been a part our history and mission. The work done by previous generations of MCC ecumenists has laid the foundation for what we will build in the 21st Century.
There is a need to articulate a theology of Ecumenical and Inter-religious work for MCC. MCC has an ecumenical calling to reformation of the whole Christian Church. And MCC has much to learn from our Christian colleagues and friends.
We are encouraged to pursue mutual dialogue with people from non-Christian traditions in ecumenical and inter-religious work. We must hold as sacred the equality among people of goodwill and faith, respecting their religious traditions. We can then become partners in addressing the challenges that continue to plague the human family. This is what it means to “build bridges that liberate and unite.”
MCC functions under a wide umbrella of Christian understanding that requires tolerance for difference and continuous learning and dialogue. More than ever, we are aware that Christians have multiple understandings of Jesus and live and work in a religiously pluralistic world. If we expect to be honored as Christians, then the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Jew, the Muslim, the Agnostic, the Humanist, and all others must also be heard, respected, and honored.
MCC’s ecumenical / inter-religious work should not be (covert) stealth proselytizing or an attempt to convert. Rather, it must be a work that involves mutual respect so that we can hear what the other is saying even as we wish to be heard. The vitality created by this mutual respect serves to enhance our experience of the sacred. In such an environment honest relationships are built, and friends working together can make a significant difference in the world. We must be prepared for radical openness and inclusivity. If we believe the answer to the question, “Would Jesus Discriminate?” is “No!”, we must live that out and be faithful participants in the global Body of Christ and the whole human family.