The 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.
On 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.