Things are beginning to happen amongst the individual and diverse communities of what began to emerge 200 years ago as the Restoration Movement and ended up under a plethora of monikas covering most of the countries of the world – variously Churches of Christ, Disciples of Christ, the Christian Church, churches (small c) of Christ. This movement for Christian unity and church restoration has a chequered history, sometimes punching above its weight in its impact on the wider church scene, but often falling into the bitter divisiveness its origins abhorred. This is us warts and all!
This year sees calls from all streams of the movement to a rediscovery of our common roots and the passion evoked in the hope of a transformation of current vision. Study groups, web-sites and publications are beginning to appear – all with good stuff. It remains to be seen whether this anniversary will have any effect on our self-understanding as a whole. Will it pass like a summer storm with a bit of dampness but little lasting effect? Or will we see some drenching, saturating rains that will bring fresh, verdant growth and a fecundity of wisdom and understanding to contribute to the wider church and the world at large?
What might be possible in this year of The Great Communion?
Looks like the South Australians are kicking things off with a series of provocative essays.
On Saturday, we host a breakfast attended by B J Mpofu, Zimbabwe Churches of Christ leader and President of World Convention of Churches of Christ. Responses from a few churches are starting to come in. Maybe a cloud, the size of a man’s hand, is beginning to form on the horizon.