'Back to Mayberry' Bible class
[JUNE 30, 2006] Join the fun with refreshments and an interdenominational "Back to Mayberry" Bible study sponsored by Lincoln Free Methodist Church on Sundays evenings at 6:30. The group meets in the white building at Seventh and College streets.
[Announcement provided to LDN]
Stone-Campbell Dialogue tackles issues of interpretation, urges local discussion Send a link to a friend
[JUNE 28, 2006] NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Representatives of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Churches of Christ, and Christian Churches/Churches of Christ gathered in Nashville June 11-13 for the 10th Stone-Campbell Dialogue, an ongoing discussion intended to strengthen ties between the three historically related religious groups.
Sharing roots in the 19th-century frontier religious reform movement associated with Christian leaders Thomas and Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone, the three major "streams" in the Stone-Campbell Movement have a combined membership of over 3 million people.
The dialogue participants, composed of ministers and university and seminary professors, addressed the topic of biblical interpretation, building on the work of the June 2005 dialogue in Dallas.
Moving beyond theological conversation, participants in this year's discussions also contributed ideas for materials congregations can use in local "dialogues."
The event began with Sunday evening worship at Nashville's Woodmont Hills Church of Christ, involving both dialogue participants and members of local congregations in the Stone-Campbell tradition. Some 300 people attended the service, the first of its kind in Nashville, according to Clint Holloway, organizer of the event and minister of involvement at Nashville's First Christian Church.
Subsequent talks between dialogue members took place in the nearby facilities of Lipscomb University, affiliated with Churches of Christ.
Launching the dialogue's opening session was a communion service directed by the Rev. Glenn Carson, president of the Disciples Historical Society in Nashville. For the service, Carson placed the communion elements on a table more than 175 years old that was once used by 19th-century reformers Alexander Campbell and Walter Scott to celebrate the Lord's Supper.
After communion, participants engaged in a period of Bible study led by Carl McKelvey, director of Lipscomb University's Center for Spiritual Renewal. They then began talks and later commented on a draft of "The Stone-Campbell Dialogue: Manual for Local Sessions," a document intended to assist churches wishing to dialogue with neighboring congregations.
During the final sessions, members completed initial work on a statement of affirmations concerning the Bible and its interpretation. While acknowledging differences in the scriptural themes each group emphasizes, representatives affirmed, "We share a rich heritage which holds Scripture in high regard -- we all think of ourselves as Scripture-focused and Scripture-driven," according to a draft version of the statement.
Following discussion of the statement, dialogue members split into small groups to talk about the stereotypes that had developed during the more than 100 years of division among churches in the Stone-Campbell tradition. Members plan to include a list of these common misconceptions, along with affirmations to counter them, in materials for churches to use in local talks.
Airing misrepresentations born of a century of tension and mistrust proved a moving experience for participants. After the small groups had finished presenting their lists of stereotypes, dialogue members formed a circle and prayed, each person placing an arm on the shoulder of another. After the prayer, they sang the classic hymn, "Blest Be the Tie."
For Douglas Foster, dialogue member and professor of Bible at Abilene Christian University in Texas, discussing the mistaken ideas of the past allowed the participants to "hear out loud in their starkness the things we have said about each other and to realize how deeply we have wounded and maligned one another."
Foster added, "Only when we name sin openly in that way and repent of it can we deal with it in a way that heals and brings reconciliation."
John Mills, a representative of Christian Churches/Churches of Christ who lives in Brunswick, Ohio, said, "We knew the stereotypes, have heard them. Most of them are out of date." He commented, "The prayers and singing ... spelled healing and hope, both of which are long overdue."
The first Stone-Campbell Dialogue took place in Indianapolis in November 1999. According to dialogue documents, the purpose of the gathering is "to develop relationships and trust within the three streams of the Stone-Campbell Movement through worship and through charitable and frank dialogue."
For the Rev. Robert Welsh, participant from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the ongoing discussions echo the longing for Christians to come together that lies at the core of all three groups. Welsh is president and ecumenical officer of the Disciples' Council on Christian Unity.
"The dialogue has served as an important meeting place ... to reclaim our fundamental identity as a people of unity," Welsh said. That unique understanding of oneness, Welsh explained, "celebrates both the congregation as the essential locus of church life and the value of diversity in belief and practice."
The next dialogue is set for June 2007 in Austin, Texas. The topic will be the Lord's Supper, an aspect of the Christian tradition emphasized across the Stone-Campbell Movement.
More information on the Stone-Campbell Dialogue is available at http://www.disciples.org/ccu/Dialogues/StoneCampbell.html.
2006 Stone-Campbell Dialogue participants
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):
Churches of Christ:
Christian Churches/Churches of Christ:
[Stone-Campbell Dialogue news release]
Ministry launches new Christian station online Send a link to a friend
[JUNE 24, 2006] SPRINGFIELD -- Chosen Generation Gospel Ministries, which has been hosting a coffeehouse in Springfield, is branching out. The ministry will launch a new radio station Sunday afternoon.
WTLC radio, a name representing the Way, Truth and Life Christian radio, is an online station that will showcase independent Christian musicians, preachers, counselors and others who are trying to answer the calling on their lives.
Broadcasting begins at 3 p.m. June 25, and the public is invited to be a part of the celebration by getting online and going to www.wtlcradio.com at the launch time or anytime after that.
The station is in its infancy, so it will not be on 24/7 yet, says Don Hunt, director, "but as the Lord blesses, his will be done in us and through us."
"We are looking to reach the world through this ministry and to be a bigger blessing to his people," Hunt said. "We already have some great music for young and old alike and some programs that will be presented by people with such an awesome anointing."
For the effort to be successful, Hunt said, prayers and support are needed.
[Announcement from Chosen Generation Gospel Ministries]
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