by Rev. Matt Bridges
Last year, I accepted an invitation to represent the Council of Bishops at the National Council of Churches, or, NCC for short. I was honored to represent the Council and the New Mexico Annual conference at the annual meeting called the “Christian Unity Gathering.” This was a three day conference in Maryland to report on the work being done by the NCC and to work toward new initiatives the NCC takes on. While the NCC will have sets of initiatives which change with seasons throughout the life of our country, the group is further broken down into what are called “Convening Tables.” The four current convening tables are Faith and Order, Interreligious Relations, Christian Education and Faith Formation, and Advocacy. The NCC’s overall theme going on right now is the “A.C.T. to End Racism” initiative, ACT standing for “Awaken, Confront, Transform.” I sat at the Christian Education and Faith Formation table.
Each convening table had the task in this annual gathering to address issues of racism from their unique perspectives and try to come up with practical ways to take the lessons learned and solutions back to our local congregations. For example, the table I sat with began the task of seeking and compiling youth and young adult resources of how to address and teach against racism in our local communities. Over the next four year period, I plan to faithfully serve and learn with the NCC to address these issues and others in our community, all for the goal of growing in unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ across not only our communion, but all Christian communions.
Whenever Christians can unite to live out the Gospel in ways that build up God’s creation rather than tearing it down, we can celebrate as servants in the Kingdom of God. If there is any way I can serve you as your brother in Christ to help with ecumenical dialogue, I stand at the ready to serve: