1 Thessalonians 1:1b-2 – Grace to you and peace. We always give thanks to God for you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I have just finished my term as President of the Atlantic Ecumenical Council, and what a two years it has been! One of the last acts of my Presidency was to praise God for the contribution of people who have devoted their lives to ecumenism for the past fifty years, this year being the fiftieth anniversary of the World Council of Churches. An old friend of mine, who lives just down the road and provided the 'retreat centre' for me when I was writing my first book, was the first to be honoured. I had the privilege of compiling his citation and I want to share it with you today as an affirmation of how we can work together for the cause of Christ in our communities and in the world. It reads like this:
ECUMENISM — THE REV. REG S. DUNN, D.D.
The Atlantic Ecumenical Council gives thanks to God for the gift of men and women who have given of their time and talent and treasure in the cause of Christian unity in the spirit of Jesus' prayer of John 17 that we all may be one. The mid-twentieth century saw the fruit of a labour of love begun in the nineteenth century. Churches came together with a dream of creating a fellowship which would confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures and, therefore, seek to fulfill together their common calling to the glory of one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Atlantic Canada this spirit of unity and co-operation gave birth to the Atlantic Ecumenical Council. Many people are responsible for the faithful witness of this Council over the last half of the twentieth Century. We give thanks for the leadership of the Rev. Reg S. Dunn who has worked tirelessly for the cause of ecumenism locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Ecumenism begins with the recognition of Christ within the other, another companion on the journey of faith in the promises of God. Reg Dunn has served with distinction in many offices such as the Presidency of the Atlantic Ecumenical Council, the Canadian Council of Churches, as a delegate to the World Council of Churches, and as an ambassador of grace and goodwill wherever he has gone and wherever he has served our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is with grateful thanks and appreciation to our gracious God that we recognize the contribution Rev. R. S. Dunn, D.D. has made to the Atlantic Ecumenical Council and to Christian unity throughout his distinguished ministry.
at the Annual Meeting of the Atlantic Ecumenical Council
H. Kenneth Stright,
President, Atlantic Ecumenical Council
Prayer: Hear us, gracious God as we remember anew why we work together in the cause of Christ:
- We have come together,
We strive to grow together,
Because we believe in God.
At the calling of the Holy Spirit
We intend to stay together,
Let us now find in each place In the name of Jesus Christ
The things we can do together,
To praise God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.