October 1, 2014 / Karen Wilk

Missional Ecumenism: Body Life in Canada

One might suggest that the following blog is a Forge Canada promotion and you would be right! My purpose in promoting Forge Canada however is not ‘free advertising’ but rather about highlighting and celebrating its success at modeling missional ecumenism. Over the last few months we have been “exploring how participation in the missio Dei has become a common frame of reference for Christians of all varieties and has thus provided a natural on-ramp to conversation, collaboration” and shared witness between and amongst these various ‘tribes’. Forge Canada is one of those onramps. It is a growing network of leaders and churches committed to catalyzing, equipping and multiplying leaders and congregations to partner with God on God’s mission in their neighbourhoods. The vision and calling of those involved is “to help create a movement of His people that will see a community of faith in every neighbourhood, living out the good news of the Kingdom of God, and bringing about the transformation of those neighbourhoods.” This vision/mission is easily and enthusiastically embraced by many (who doesn’t want that?) and thus there are numerous partnerships developing between quite distinctive denominations locally, regionally and nationally.

As their website puts it,

Our desire is that [Forge Canada] grows into a movement of people from all denominations, in all regions of the country and with many kinds of leaders. We are made up of some who are theological guides for us in the process. Others are spiritual mentors. Some are emerging leaders and many others are faithfully modelling servant-leadership to us.

But we are more than individuals. We are a growing network of churches and a movement of God’s people who desire to support one another and to be accountable to one another in a set of practices that will lead us into a deeper level of discipleship and into working with God in spiritual transformation.

Churches connected in the Forge Canada network share resources and stories, encouraging one another in the mission. Forge hubs gather monthly in cities and towns across western Canada. Participants come from historically separate denominations and yet ‘together on mission’ are able to share with one another; pray for, coach, resource and support each other; and learn and experiment together for the sake of the Kingdom. Those in the hubs also commit to principles, postures and practices that continue to shape them into image of Christ and His Body “so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others (Romans 12:5) and all this is given by the Spirit “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7).

May the church everywhere discover the wonder, enrichment, power and beauty of heeding Paul’s words: Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10)…. Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16) not for our own sakes but for the sake of the Gospel and our gracious, all inclusive King, Jesus.