Recognizing Each Other as Gifts of God

Global Christian Forum gathers diverse Christians

Date Posted: 
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

“The more points of light you have, the fewer the shadows.”

That phrase has stuck with Lee DeYoung since April, when he heard it at the third global gathering of the Global Christian Forum.

DeYoung attended the event in Bogotá, Colombia, representing the RCA as then–General Synod president.

The sentiment was expressed by an Albanian Orthodox minister, and for DeYoung, it encapsulated the event.

“It’s really good for Christians to interact with others. It’s enriching to get to know somebody who is deeply committed to their faith, but approaches it [differently].” That, he says, “helps to identify the real essence of our own faith.”

The RCA is part of a number of ecumenical organizations, and the Global Christian Forum is the broadest. Its third global gathering drew 251 church leaders from 55 nations and nearly every stream of global Christianity.

“Being together and sharing stories of our faith journey, we have learned to recognize and receive one another as gifts of God,” wrote participants in a message to churches. “We remembered and named the stories of our brothers and sisters who bear the suffering marks of Jesus in their bodies (Galatians 6:17). Our hearts were not dismayed but wondrously lifted in hope (Romans 8:35-38).”

RCA participants also included Wes Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary emeritus, and Stacey Duensing, a pastor of Lynnwood Reformed Church in Schenectady, New York.

Photo courtesy of Global Christian Forum.

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