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Koinonia (Communion/Community)

Koinonia - The Ministry of Communion
Readings: Reflections, pp.17-19; UC Perspective, p.4; RC Perspective, p.4
What words or phrases stand out for you in the following passages?
‘I ask not only on behalf of these,
but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word,
that they may all be one.
As you, Father, are in me and I am in you,
may they also be in us,
so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
The glory that you have given me I have given them,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may become completely one,
so that the world may know that you have sent me
and have loved them even as you have loved me.'

- John 17:20-23
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life
worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness,
with patience, bearing with one another in love,
making every effort to maintain the unity of the spirit
in the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit,
just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all,
who is above all and through all and in all.

- Ephesians 4: 1 – 6
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

- 1 John 1:7 (KJV)
Excerpts for Reflection and Discussion
  1. "We note here the Uniting Church’s practice of eucharistic hospitality, which is a particular point of emphasis with regard to the meaning of communion, and also a point of difference from the Catholic Church."
  2. "...communion represents both the source and the fruit of mission: communion gives rise to the mission and mission is accomplished in communion."
  3. "The church is a communion whose mission is to build communion, communion among people, communion of all people with God, communion of all people with the larger creation."
  4. "Because of this, work to restore unity among Christian churches, efforts to build relations with other world religions, work for justice and peace, and work to protect the environment are integral to the mission of the church.... All of these in their own ways build communion among people, of people with God and of people with the rest of creation. "
  5. "Communion/koinonia can be understood as the vital depth dimension of all relationships within the new creation, achieved in Christ’s reconciling work on the cross and in the continuing work of the Holy Spirit."
  6. "Everything which brings people closer together, even if they do not know Christ, can be part of this mission."
  7. "This gift of union with God and one another, given through the power of the Holy Spirit, is cited as a fundamental imperative in the mission of the Uniting Church."
  8. "... the gifts of the church’s members are used for the building up of the whole and are understood as a means through which Christ works and bears witness to himself."
  9. "...the promised union of all things in God is anticipated by the unity of the church."
  10. How do you show your unity with others in your every day actions?
  11. When the church struggles to exhibit the unity we have in Christ how does the ‘world’ respond?