what is ecumenism?
Ecumenism is a movement within the Christian tradition, that promotes collaboration and understanding across denominational lines. The Body of Christ is an image from scripture that lifts up the value of Christian unity, even amidst our diversity - and it is this belief that undergirds the Ecumenical movement.
In our context, Ecumenism comes in the form of commitments from our denominational partners to support campus ministry. Denominational partners are those church traditions who support the ministry financially from their national or regional bodies. Currently, these partners are the Anglican, Presbyterian, and United churches - but there is always room for more. Ecumenism also comes in the support we receive from local churches and individuals, within or beyond those denominations. We have, and continue, to receive support from people with a broad range of Christian backgrounds.
Most importantly... all are welcome to participate in the ECM community, regardless of faith background or lack thereof.
Ecumenism is also lived out in the commitments we have to be in good partnership with other Christian groups on campus and in the community. The interfaith work that we do through the Multi-Faith Resource Team is a natural extension of the Ecumenical spirit at our core.
Ecumenism involves compromise, dialogue, and a willingness to prioritize an outward mission into the world. It is different than non-denominationalism in that it doesn't hide the tensions and rough edges that comes with partnership, but names and owns the difficulties that exist. Ecumenism is not easy work. It can be bumpy and messy. But when it is done in good faith, and with the impulse to serve, it can be one of the most inspiring and dynamic aspects of Christian faith - especially in divisive times such as these.