So Much We Could Gain!

My first real ecumenical experience took place the summer of 86 when I served as a volunteer with the Christian Appalachian Project at Camp Shawnee. We worked with kids who were 95% non-Catholic and not all of the staff was either. Instead of talking about the Church we talked about Jesus and what we had in common. The way I figured it our job was to point to Jesus in our prayers and in the daily Bible Studies. If we did that He would do the rest.
Most nights we got together as a staff for prayer. We took turns leading prayer and often used readings and spontaneous prayers. Sometimes we used contemporary Christian music, something I had never heard of before except for Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. Often on weekends we sat around and talked about God and our spiritual experiences.
That summer opened up a whole new world for me. I taught in an inner-city Catholic high school and often worked on prayer services with the students. The songs from Glory and Praise really didn’t work so I was delighted to discover Contemporary Christian Music and soon after Christian bookstores. I found a brand new world opening up as I discovered authors like Max Lucado and Ken Gire. Since they wrote for many different denominations they focused on Jesus and God’s love. They basically pointed to Jesus.
What was so awesome about their writings was how simple they were even for high school students to understand. I remember a book called God Came Near by Max Lucado. There’s a chapter when He talked about the commonness of the name of Jesus in Palestine In the 1st Century. It was the most common name and Jesus picked it because He wanted people to feel free to approach Him. I can’t tell you how many of my students were blessed by that story or Lucado’s updated version of the Prodigal Son In He Chose the Nails.
I and my students were so blessed by Contemporary Christian Music. To hear I’m Accepted (by the One who matters most) a Degarmo and Key song, Awesome God by Rich Mullins, Matthew West’s He Loves You More or Larnelle Harris’ I Miss My Time With You is to be touched by God.
There is so much I’ve discovered, awesome worship music, powerful movies like Facing the Giants, Courageous and Fireproof, clean TV series shown on Hallmark and powerful and clean novelists like Karen Kingsbury, Francine Rivers and Beverly Lewis. I’ve found people who believe in the power of the Holy Spirit operating through simple people like you and me to work miracles.
There is so much we can gain if we open ourselves up to ecumenism rather than hiding behind closed doors. We live in an age when our Christian values are under attack and people are literally killed for believing in Christ. It is insanity not to reach out to our Christian brothers and sisters. We don’t have to agree on everything. We need to stand together, work together and pray together to win this world to Christ. Our job is to point to Jesus. Let Him take care of the rest.


Author: ronquinlan

To me the message is what is important. Feel free to copy and use anything on this blog. Some pieces were originally published by Catholic Lane so please give them credit. I am a charismatic Roman Catholic and former Social Studies teacher in Catholic Schools. Pieces I've written have been published on Catholi Lane, Catholic Exchange and the Women of Grace blog.

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