C7th Abba Dorotheos of Gaza
But if we love God, inasmuch as we come near to Him by love of Him, so we become united by love with our neighbours, and inasmuch as we are united with our neighbours, so we become united with God
c 1920 Cardinal Mercier
In order to unite with one another, we must love one another; in order to love one another, we must know one another; in order to know one another, we must go and meet one another.
1925 Stockholm Life and Work Conference
The closer we come to the cross of Christ, the closer we come to each other.
1982 Pope John Paul II in Britain
We are only pilgrims on this earth, making our way towards that heavenly Kingdom promised to us as God’s children. Beloved brethren in Christ, for the future, can we not make that pilgrimage together hand-in-hand… doing all we can ‘to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds us together’? This would surely bring down upon us the blessing of God our Father on our pilgrim way.
1984 God’s Reign and our Unity
The unity of the Church is not simply an end in itself but for the glory of God and as a sign, instrument and first-fruits of his purpose to reconcile all things in heaven and earth through Christ. Nor is the unity of the Church merely a means to an end, for the Church already enjoys a foretaste of that end, and is only a sign and instrument in so far as it is a foretaste. Life in Christ is the end for which all things were made, not a means to an end beyond it.
1987 Swanwick Conference and Declaration
This commitment requires a shift in the thinking, feeling and action of our churches, from ecumenism as an extra which absorbs energy, to ecumenism as a dimension of all that we do, which releases energy through the sharing of resources.
We now declare together our readiness to commit ourselves to each other under God. Our earnest desire is to become more fully, in his own time, the one Church of Christ, united in faith, communion, pastoral care and mission. Such unity is the gift of God. With gratitude we have truly experienced this gift, growing amongst us in these days. We affirm our openness to this growing unity in obedience to the Word of God, so that we may fully share, hold in common and offer to the world those gifts which we have received and still hold in separation. In the unity we seek we recognise that there will not be uniformity but legitimate diversity.
Lord God, we thank you
for calling us into the company
of those who trust in Christ
and seek to obey his will.
May your Spirit guide and strengthen us
in mission and service to your world;
for we are strangers no longer
but pilgrims together on the way to your Kingdom.