Cardinal O’Malley: ‘If I were founding a Church, I’d love to have women priests’

Cardinal_OMalley-140x156I was in Boston for three days last weekend working in a number of exciting missional-ecumenical contexts. Boston is best known, in terms of its Christian leadership, for the work of Cardinal Sean O’Malley. I pray for Cardinal O’Malley, a leader who represents Pope Francis and his vision as well as any American leader in the Catholic Church. Let me explain some of what I mean by sharing about my recent experience in Boston.

On Sunday evening (November 16) I met with twelve ecumenical leaders from the city. Included among those at the table were some wonderful folks such as the leader of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the newly appointed dean of the Orthodox Cathedral, the evangelical catalyst for overseeing the joint efforts of ten seminaries in the greater Boston area, a lay leader in the office of ecumenism for Cardinal O’Malley and various religious leaders, both clergy and non-clergy. We were Catholic, Orthodox, charismatic, evangelical, mainline Protestant. We were Asian, white, black and hispanic. We were male and female, young and old. It was quite a group and the energy in the dialogue was rich and Spirit-directed. The prayers moved some of us very deeply and we wept with joy. Friendships were strengthened and made. It was all around a delightful evening meal hosted by two dear Focolare friends that I met in June in New York at the Luminosa Award ceremony. All of these lovely guests are active in mission for unity in Boston. My host for three days was my long-time friend Dr. Mark Yoon and my new friend, Scott Brill. (I also met Scott in June at the Luminosa ceremony.) Scott is an ecumenical leader in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the co-founder of the new Institute for Christian Unity. The Institute sponsored our first Boston Unity Factor Forum on Saturday, November 15.

You should also check out Unite Boston on Facebook, a movement that is doing some great work in the city. The leader, an energetic and visionary young woman, shared in this same dinner. She has a heart for unity like few I’ve met in the U.S. I look forward to forging new friendships through Unite Boston as she gets to know me better. She is now reading Your Church Is Too Small since I gave her my only copy I took along on this trip.

In addition please check out Emmanuel Gospel Center. I will write a longer blog on the EGC mission next week. The story of this evangelical witness in an urban context is truly one of the greatest stories of missional-ecumenism I’ve personally encountered in America. EGC hosted our ACT3 Unity Factor Forum last Saturday, November 15. Mark Yoon is the chairman of the EGC board and also serves as the evangelical chaplain at Boston University. Mark and I met a decade ago in Chicago after his daughter studied at Wheaton College Graduate School. I thank God that Grace Yoon insisted that I meet her dad. We did meet and became close friends for life.

What God is doing in Boston is truly amazing. One older leader called the Boston story a “quiet revival.” I am inclined to agree based upon my small three-day sample. Here, in greater Boston, the Spirit has been moving for decades. This work is not about politics or ideology but rather about unity, grace and reaching the unchurched with the good news of Jesus. This work is neither sectarian nor overtly linked to any one church expression. One of the greatest visible supporters in this movement of the Spirit is Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Cardinal O’Malley was interviewed on CBS 60 Minutes while we were enjoying our Sunday evening meal. You can see the  program online. I will watch the entire program in the next day or so. CBS called the interview with Cardinal O’Malley one which revealed his “careful candor.” I love that. Journalists are missing this “candor” because they do not understand it well but many Christians have missed it as well, including some bishops! The second clip is so fascinating if you want to get perspective on how such an interview is actually done.

Pope Francis has called Cardinal O’Malley the leader that he trusts and looks to for leadership in America. I can understand why this is true when I see and hear this man of God speak of the joy of the gospel. Pray for Boston and all Christian believers in this great city.

On Sunday morning, November 16, I preached at a young church on the campus of Boston University. (I will write more about this soon.) This evangelical church, which is less than five years old, draws well over 300 young adults and is growing and reaching the unchurched every single week. (The average age of the congregation that I preached to in the morning was about 23!) Please do not tell me that young adults will not respond to the gospel when it is presented with joy, in the power of the Spirit, and in a context that understands and relates to their story.

The Cardinal O’Malley interview is worth reading about here:

Cardinal O’Malley: ‘If I were founding a Church, I’d love to have women priests’.

Posted in ACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Current Affairs, Discipleship, Emergent Church, Evangelism, Faith, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church | 10 Comments/Likes

Lausanne Catholic Evangelical Conversation

During the days of September 11-13, 2014, the second Lausanne Catholic-Evangelical Conversation took place at Mundelein Seminary in suburban Chicago. Twenty-six leaders, thirteen Catholics and thirteen evangelical Protestants, met to consider again what the Spirit is saying to us about a new “springtime” of unity in Christ’s mission. The rest of the conversation was private. A report of this private dialogue will be posted here soon.

The only public meeting that we held included two papers and two responses. This evening meeting began our formal conversation on September 11. Four of us participated in this public, formal conversation. ACT3 Network secured a videographer to make a high-quality film of the entire evening. This includes the dialogue and some questions from the audience. Remember, the audience response does not reflect the actual private dialogue that the twenty-six of us shared throughout three wonderful days.

We rarely post anything of this length on our ACT3 Network web page or here on my personal blog site. We do so today because this material is extremely useful to the work of missional-ecumenism, the work that I have given my life to as a minister of the Word of God.

Again, this is long. You will need nearly two hours to see it all. I hope some of you will watch it all,  and interact with it, when you have time. You will find the video below and on the ACT3 Network site.

This reminds me to invite you to help us do the work of ACT3. We depend on donor support to make films like this one possible. This was a rare event and one that we believe will be useful to many viewers for a long time. To this end we invite your support for this project and similar future efforts. You can give at the ACT3 Network donor page.

Posted in ACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Current Affairs, Evangelism, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church | 5 Comments/Likes

A Gospel Call in Montreal (4)

The Gospel Call renewal event that I shared in Montreal two weeks ago has four specifically stated goals:

  1. To deepen our Christian sense of identity and solidarity with one another.
  2. To enable the co-sponsoring congregations to envision their mission differently.
  3. To identify concrete ways that congregations can act together in the future.
  4. To increase awareness of the biblical call to unity in faith, worship and mission.

Gospel Call is a ministry under the oversight of the North American Paulist Ministry Center in Washington, D.C.. Further information is available at the Paulist site.

DSC_6805On the last day of our Gospel Call mission in Montreal Fr. Tom Ryan and I led a “follow-through” event at the Lutheran Church. After a meal we invited leaders from the nine participating churches to come together as a group for prayer and one more symbolic expression of our oneness. In this instance the liturgy was quite simple and did not include a sermon. We placed an open Bible before the congregation and offered prayers.

Following this opening time of gathering we broke into six small groups around various ministries within the congregations. These included youth ministry, liturgy and music, administration, social action, Christian education, and mission. After about forty-five minutes in the small groups settings the people gathered together again. Fr. Ryan and I led them through an identification process through which we wrote their observations and ideas on a white board. We showed them several ways in which they could pursue some of mission together and encouraged them to come back the next week to begin a process of working on specific things. This process is meant to create ongoing collaboration between the local churches as they face their future together rather than entirely separate from one another. We ended our evening with another prayer time.

So, does this mission work? I think the honest answer to this must be left to the Spirit’s work and the response of the local churches and leaders in the months ahead. Fr. Ryan and I sowed good seed in Christ’s love. I believe this is a start but only a start. I wish there were a hundred similar Gospel Call missions taking place in North America. I know of no other teams doing what we did in Montreal but there are some grassroots efforts in various cities and regions that approximate what we attempted in Montreal. I also know that Fr. Ryan has some stories of ongoing ecumenical mission happening in places where he has done a Gospel Call event in the past.

The first Gospel Call event, before the actual name was even chosen, occurred twenty-five years ago in Canada. Fr. Ryan shared with me some of the ongoing story of how this mission continues to change the way those particular churches do mission. This encourages me to believe that our sowing this seed was worth the effort even though our numbers were not huge. (We had between 120-180 people at the three main services!) The real story is not about how large the crowd was but rather about how the Spirit worked in these churches and their leaders. I believe great good was done in Montreal in this mission. I look forward to seeing what this means going forward. Ultimately, I realize that Tom and I only “sow” while others may “harvest” (John 4:37) but it is God alone who will grant lasting fruit in his own time and way.

Posted in ACT 3, Discipleship, Evangelism, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church | 2 Comments/Likes

A Gospel Call in Montreal (3)

DSC_6743 copyThe final Gospel Call worship celebration in Montreal (October 28) was the last large event that Fr. Ryan and I led together. This evening event was also the last of three preaching times. The focus was on the word “Sent.” Fr. Ryan and I again preached as a team, taking turns and both speaking for about five minutes and then stopping to allow the second person to speak. Back and forth the flow went as we challenged the people to go out into the world as God’s “sent” people to be the missional people of Christ. What is different about the charge that we gave  is that the context called people and churches to specifically cooperate, collaborate and  practice unity. We are not asking Catholics to stop being Catholic or Protestants to cease to be Protestants. We are calling everyone to realize that we are all part of the same Christian family. As fellow members of the one body of Jesus Christ we can share in his mission better as those who are “sent” in unity into the world in the love of Christ.

During a Gospel Call week we do several other meetings. One was a brunch at an Anglican Church which was specifically designed for education and development. In this meeting Tom encouraged leaders from the several churches to find ways in which the Spirit is leading them to work in Christ’s mission. We entertained questions and responses. Besides being present in two Catholic churches we were also hosted by a Lutheran Church and an Anglican Church. Tom preached in a Catholic Church and a United Church on Sunday (October 26). I preached at St. Luke’s Catholic and First Christian Reformed Church, as I noted in my blog on Monday.

47a4ce11b3127cce985487cccaa700000015102BcM2zJq0ZQOn the final evening we did an interactive listening time where the leaders of the mission broke into various groups around mission outreach ministries that are presently being done in their churches. They listened to each other and wrote down ideas about how they could do their ministries better together than separately. One week later these leaders were to meet and follow-up these ideas. They would pick three things that they would seek to do in common in the months ahead. It is our hope that this will lead to deeper friendships and shared mission.

Tomorrow I will conclude this series on the Gospel Call. I will tell you about how you can invite Tom and me to do such a mission in your city or town. No place is too small or too large. I hope that some of you who read these blog reports will begin to pray about hosting a Gospel Call mission in the churches of your area.

Posted in ACT 3, Discipleship, Evangelism, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church | 1 Comment/Like

A Gospel Call in Montreal (2)

47a4ce11b3127cce985487b2cad900000015102BcM2zJq0ZQThe primary purpose of the Gospel Call mission that Fr. Thomas Ryan and I led in Montreal (October 25–29) was to celebrate the gains of Christian unity from the last fifty years and “take these gains to the pews.” For all the work done in ecumenism very little is actually being done to help specific churches and leaders build collaborative efforts for unity in Christ’s mission. No work that I have done in recent years more clearly expresses the purpose of ACT3 Network than the Gospel Call work since ACT3’s mission is specifically “to empower churches and leaders for unity in Christ’s mission.” The Gospel Call mission seeks to practically “empower” this vision to happen on the ground, where churches are located in a city or town. These churches are located, in many cases, side-by-side. (Some of our churches in Montreal were literally across the street from each other!)

Fr. Ryan and I both believe that as long as local communities of believers live in separation from each other, the credibility of the gospel of reconciliation that they offer to their neighbors is diminished. This thinking is based upon the clear teaching of our Lord in John 17:20-24. Jesus prayed for our relational oneness “so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (verse 21b). The Gospel Call is directed at praying and working for an answer to this prayer of our Lord. Tom and I shared many hours together in private conversation and prayer. It dawned on me as we did that there is no other Catholic-Protestant team doing precisely what we are doing in the Gospel Call. I genuinely urge you to consider hosting us in your city. You can contact me or Fr. Ryan directly.

This plan to bring churches together for local mission grows out of great religious convergence that has taken place among our churches over the last thirty years. Biblical, liturgical and spiritual renewal is taking place because of the fruit of the ecumenical movement. Teams of leaders have worked in national and international dialogues making great progress toward resolving centuries old questions that have divided our churches. Through these efforts many of us have built friendships and grown very close to one another. But these opportunities now must be made available to the entire people of God (laos).

47a4ce11b3127cce985487c74b9c00000015102BcM2zJq0ZQThe second public service in the Gospel Call mission in Montreal was a celebration of “Life in Community.” Following this marvelous service we had a social time where a wonderful book store was provided as well. I was particularly pleased that the Focolare were represented in the Montreal mission given my personal fellowship with this renewal movement. I not only met many of the leaders of the Focolare in Montreal, men and women who staffed a New City Press table with books, but I met a Focolare priest later in the week at the Cathedral. (This was an unplanned visit and a very happy one for me.)

Tom and I again preached in tandem, taking turns every few minutes, and speaking as “one” yet as two distinct and different voices. I was again surprised and joyful at how well this turned out. We worked for months to prepare our three major sermons going back and forth in writing our text with ideas shared by email correspondence. Then when we met face-to-face in Montreal we went through our sermons together each day, making sure that we spoke not only as one but as two distinct voices blending together. It worked, and in fact I think it worked quite well. Again, I have never personally seen a sermon preached by two ministers in this manner. It modeled solidarity and partnership in a beautiful way.

On the second evening of the Gospel Call we stressed the words: “Life in Community.” Our symbolic action involved a simple cross. We placed a large wooden cross in the middle of the church and invited people to come and pray. They could venerate the cross in any way they felt comfortable. I saw people kneel at the cross, touch the cross, embrace the cross and kiss it. It was quiet, reverent and very moving. I watched with tears of joy and said to myself, “At the foot of the cross we are truly one!” May it be more so in all we do in our towns and cities across North America. A generation watches and waits to see if we will come together in Christ’s love.

Posted in ACT 3, Evangelism, Missional-Ecumenism, Protestantism, Renewal, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church | 5 Comments/Likes

A Gospel Call in Montreal (1)

47a4ce11b3127cce985487d8cab300000015102BcM2zJq0ZQYesterday (November 10) I noted that I preached twice on Reformation Sunday (October 26) in Montreal. I also mentioned that I was in Quebec to serve in partnership with Fr. Tom Ryan of the Paulist Fathers. We were the lead missioners in a Gospel Call event. The Gospel Call is a four-day renewal event which brings together Christians for worship, community and mission. The Gospel Call provides a unique “on the ground” opportunity for Christians, and their respective parishes, to come together in order to give visible expression to the deep communion that we already share in the Trinitarian life of God. We gather from many different Christian traditions to listen to the Word of God and respond in solidarity to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.

This Gospel Call mission can take place in any context where congregations wish to come together for such a mission. The churches invite Fr. Ryan and me to come and serve them together. The mission is sponsored by local congregations in a town, suburb or city center. The number of congregations supporting the mission has been as few as three. In Montreal we had nine congregations involved in one form or another. We had three Catholic parishes and six Protestant churches.

Once dates for the mission are agreed upon, and a joint letter of invitation is received from the pastors of the churches involved, a resource kit is sent which lays out the specific steps to be followed for a successful mission. In this kit we provide step-by-step plans which include announcements, news release material and an order of service for each evening service of the Gospel Call mission.

In Montreal we did not follow the typical plan to the letter but we did have the three evening celebrations and a closing evening session for leaders where we prayed and shared ideas about how the Spirit might lead the congregations into deeper unity in mission in the coming months. The local committee met a week later to follow-up this process and begin working for unity in mission in their area.

47a4ce11b3127cce985487b0cadb00000015102BcM2zJq0ZQThe first major worship celebration in Montreal was held on Saturday evening. The emphasis of this celebration is on the word “Called.” Tom and I preach as a team. He speaks, I speak, he speaks, I speak, etc. It takes about thirty minutes or less. It works very well. People are impressed to hear a Protestant and Catholic preaching from two pulpits, from the two sides of the altar or communion table. This service also includes special music, hymns, prayers and unique witness given by several who are designated to speak. The evening ends with a unique ritual action that can be shared in by all. On the first evening we poured water from the baptismal font into four bowls and then each person came to be marked with the sign of the cross in the water of our common baptism. I marked the first person on my side of the sanctuary and this person then in turn marked the next, and so on, until everyone who wanted to come was marked. When I turned to mark the person in front of me it was the archbishop of Montreal. I was pleasantly surprised and realized that this could not be staged or planned humanly. I was honored and humbled at the same time. For me it was a significant moment of sharing in our Christian baptism as two brothers in Christ. (For those of you who do not realize this the question of baptism has been essentially settled between the Catholic Church and most other non-Catholic churches/communities. Our baptism is now officially seen as one!)

47a4ce11b3127cce985487d54b8e00000015102BcM2zJq0ZQAs we left that Saturday evening, October 25, I went back to my private room to rest and pray. I realized I had been taken up into something of the Holy Spirit that I could never have seen coming two years ago. My heart was flooded with profound joy. The sense of our identity and solidarity as those who are called by Jesus to give witness to the world together was strengthened for me in a whole new way. I believe, as much as I have ever believed, that I am discovering why God called me to this unique work of missional-ecumenism. I will share more about the Gospel Call mission in Montreal tomorrow.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments/Likes

The Most Memorable Reformation Sunday in My Life

October 26, 2014, was a day that dawned with profound joy in my soul. I shall never forget it as long as I live. It began with personal morning prayer in a guest home in Montreal. I was in this great city to do my first Gospel Call mission with 47a4ce11b3127cce985487b0cadb00000015102BcM2zJq0ZQFr. Thomas Ryan, CSP. Tom directs the ministry of ecumenism for the Paulists and works out of their Washington, D.C. office. He invited me in 2013 to join him as his fellow team member/missioner for a four-day event that we hope to do at least three times per year in various parts of North America. Tom did his first Gospel Call mission almost twenty-five years ago in Canada. He has had three Protestant partners before me. I will share more about the mission this week but today I’d like to tell you my story of this unforgettable day, October 26.

After breakfast I went to St. Luke Catholic Church in Montreal. In the first Mass of the Lord’s Day I was invited to give the homily. The lectionary text was Matthew 22:34-40. I preached on the Great Commandment. I spoke with a free spirit and deep joy in the gospel. I was not hindered or directed by pressures in any way. I spoke of God’s love, how much he loves and saves us by his grace and how he calls us to love with the very love that he gives to us in Christ alone. I plainly sensed the Holy Spirit’s power and grace upon me and the Word of Christ as I preached. Conversations that evening gave me ample evidence that God used that sermon to touch lives in deep ways. church4bannerI must say, very simply, this opportunity to preach astounded me. It is quite rare for a Protestant to preach at a Mass. I do not know the precise procedure for such an invitation being extended but I am sure the parish priest and bishop must have been on the same page if not formally in agreement.

20120404-Mgr-Lepine-studio02On the Saturday evening, before this memorable morning, I met the archbishop of Montreal, the Most Reverend Christian Lepine. Archbishop Lepine sat next to me in the worship service and we chatted briefly. He gave greetings at our opening Gospel Call event. The evening event was hosted by St. Luke’s parish and led by Deacon Brian Cordeiro. Archbishop Lepine was appointed to his office on March 20, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI.

I wore my clerical collar at the Mass, with a simple dark and no vestments. (It was interesting that so many members called me “Father” out of respect!) Right after the service I changed in the sacristy to a dress shirt and tie and then went several blocks down the street to the First Christian Reformed Church of Montreal. (This is the only CRC congregation in the entire province of Quebec.) I preached a Reformation Day sermon from Romans 1:16-17. Pastor Jacob Boer and I had never met until that morning but we had exchanged emails. I really wondered what kind of CRC congregation, and what type of pastor, would welcome me. What should I expect? I really had little idea. To my great joy I was again received with love and encouragement. image6101I spoke about the 16th century Protestant Reformation and the power of this one text in Luther’s life. I explained how and why it transformed him. I also reminded the congregation of our apostolic call to unity and of just how much had happened for wide-scale reformation since the early 1500s. The message seemed to work. People were again most receptive and gracious. I loved the worship and the contrast between the two parishes was striking. Yet there was also no radical disjunction between them. We confessed the Creed, read the Word of God, heard the Gospel, prayed as the gathered baptized people, and came to the eucharist. (No, I did not receive the eucharist at St. Luke’s since it is not appropriate to do so except in unusual circumstances. This is not the place to explore this issue.)

So, why was this Sunday, October 26, so deeply memorable to me?

The mission that I now lead (ACT3 Network) began in 1991. In 1992 I launched it as a full-time work and became the president. In 1996 we held our first Reformation Annual Conference and drew nearly 1,000 people to Chicago. At the time this event was happening I was already being led by the Spirit to embrace my vision of missional-ecumenism, mostly in private because of deep fear. By 1998 I announced that we would have an event in 1999 with the theme: “One Holy Catholic Church.” Our numbers plunged, as I had expected, to about 350. The writing was on the wall. My deeply conservative Reformation crowd did not want to hear a conference on unity even though the speakers were of high calibre: e.g. Timothy George, J. I. Packer, etc. By 2000 the direction of this ministry had shifted and the decade-plus that followed 2000 was one of decline and struggle. Only by God’s grace and provision did we get through those very hard years. We were often financially ruined. Many openly attacked my “new” stance. But in 2012 the tide shifted openly. I was now being invited into this “new” world (at least for me) and was now pursuing my vision with clarity and the obvious evidence of the Spirit’s power resting again on the mission and my own soul.

There are so many people, dear friends most all of them, who stood by me and believed in me and supported this vision. Some did not get the vision but loved me anyway. For this I remain grateful as well. What I could never have imagined, even as recently as a year ago, was preaching a Reformation sermon on Reformation Sunday in a Reformed Church and also preaching a Gospel text in a Catholic Church the same Sunday – Reformation Sunday 2014.

I later told Fr. Bertrand Montpetit (on Tuesday evening at our final meeting for the Gospel Call), that he had honored me beyond anything that he could have ever imagined by entrusting this homily assignment to me as his guest. In so doing the Spirit had used his invitation to fulfill a dream that God had given to me back in 1998. I realized then that I would preach where I could never imagine that I would go and when I did I would know this to be true: “You, Lord God did it all!” This is why October 26 was one of the most memorable days in my life. On Reformation Sunday, 2014, I preached in a Catholic Church and also in a congregation directly and confessionally linked to the Protestant Reformation. God alone did this. I completely enjoyed it. I wonder what comes next? Please pray for me friends.

Posted in ACT 3, Gospel/Good News, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Protestantism, Reformed Christianity, Renewal, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church | 38 Comments/Likes

ACT3 Network Story Video (3)

On Monday I introduced you to the best resource we have ever created to share our vision. This new resource is our ACT3 Network Story video. Yesterday I shared some ways in which you could use this story to impact your own life and that of others who you feel that you can reach. Today I wish to share how we will use many new video resources that came from our interviews. I believe that we have created short films that share a great story that can impact thousands of viewers like you.

In making this new ACT3 Network Story film producer and director Tim Frakes shot 10-12 minute interviews with about forty-five different people. These interviews included filming with Catholic and Orthodox priests, Protestant ministers from many traditions, lay leaders from the entire church and people of varied backgrounds ethnically and nationally. We interviewed men and women, young and old. The major question that we asked each person was simple: “Tell us what Christian unity means to you and why?” We also asked each person to talk about how they saw ACT3 Network sharing this vision with others. You will hear how they respond to us and what we are doing. And you will get a sense of what they believe God is doing today. Along the way Tim got some incredibly great video material. We could only use less than 1% of the total in the major video. So what did we do with all this film footage?

The volume and quality of our material was so rich that we decided to use as much of it as possible as widely as possible. So Tim edited clips from these many hours of interviews into 60-90 seconds each. Some of the people we interviewed will appear several times. As much of this material as we could use we will share over the course of the next year. Each week I will share at least one new video interview on this blog site. Each week these videos will be added to several different websites, including the Resources Tab on the ACT3 Network site. Check this tab and you will see a growing library of material that we hope you will use and then share with others.

Our goal is simple – expand the witness of our missional-ecumenism vision as widely as possible. Help us if the Spirit leads you to do so.

Posted in ACT 3, Evangelism, Love, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church | 2 Comments/Likes

ACT3 Network Story Video (2)

I introduced our new ACT3 Network video yesterday. Because this new resource is so important to what we are attempting to do I share more today. You can help us extend the witness of ACT3 by using this video in several ways:

1. Send this blog, and the video link, to your friends. Ask them to watch the video and then to pray for ACT3.

2. Encourage friends to join us in the work of missional-ecumenism by sharing the news of this work more widely, with all Christians everywhere. By these kinds of tools we can reach a global audience.

3. Support us financially if you can. We do not do “fund raising” campaigns or plead for funds. We are responsible and accountable. I have lived my life, and led this mission, as an “open book.” I do not make a big income. When I speak the money is all directed to ACT3, not to me personally. I have gladly taken salary hits in order to be faithful to this message. I thus am not ashamed to ask for your support of a truly honest and faithful ministry. You can donate online. You can also schedule regular monthly or quarterly gifts online. You can send checks to: ACT3 Network, P.O. Box 88216, Carol Stream, IL 60188. Every gift, large and small, encourages me personally and helps us do our work. Tax receipts are available for U.S. donors.

4. Sign up for the ACT3 Weekly at the website. You will receive an article each Monday as well as prayer requests and news items about events. This is the very best way to stay in touch with me and the mission of ACT3.

5. Hep us find the best contexts in which to share our vision so that John 17:20-24 will become a vibrant experienced reality throughout the global church.

Posted in ACT 3, Evangelism, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church | 2 Comments/Likes

ACT3 Network Story Video (1)

For more than a year I have desired to present a well-done video that shares the vision of ACT3 Network as clearly as possible. Given the time span that people will give to viewing such a video online this presentation needed to be designed to run for less than five minutes. It also needed to feature some of our ACT3 friends, our “big” story and my personal vision for missional-ecumenism. Finally, we have produced this new video. I am genuinely excited about it and the potential it has to help our mission. When you now go to our website you will see this film on the homepage.

Today I introduce you to this new ACT3 Network Story video. I will tell you more about this video, and how it can be used to read the flame of missional-ecumenism, over the next few days. Please watch it if you are interested and then share it with your friends as widely as possible.

Please allow the Spirit to lead you as you watch. We need donors and friends who will help us make this vision “viral.” To this end please pass this link to the video along to your friends who share a vision of unity in diversity (John 17:21).

Special thanks are in order for a dear friend who donated all the money we needed to make this new video. Also, thanks for the incredible work of my new friend, Tim Frakes. Tim is a superb videographer, as you will readily see. He is also a wonderful Christian who really got deeply involved in this project above and beyond the time we planned. He was a delight to work with at every stage and I highly recommend him to you. Finally, thanks for every friend who took precious time to be interviewed. Many who were interviewed are not on film in this new ACT3 Network Story. But their interviews will appear over the course of the coming months and help us reach many more people with our message. More about all this tomorrow.

Posted in ACT 3, Evangelism, Film, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church | 9 Comments/Likes