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Harder to address ecumenical event

   
 


Dr. Helmut Harder, Professor Emeritus, Canadian Mennonite University, and former General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, will address the Summer Ecumenical Institute, in Saskatoon, July 6 – 9.

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March 4, 2011
- Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Dr. Helmut Harder, Professor Emeritus, Canadian Mennonite University, and former General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, will be a keynote speaker at the 20th Summer Ecumenical Institute at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon, July 6 – 9.

Harder has a long history of working with ecumenical agenda, and is noted particularly for his initiative and years of experience in fostering a Roman Catholic-Mennonite dialogue, addressing both commonalities and differences. Menno Simons, after whom Mennonites are named, was a priest who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church during the 1500s, challenging the practice of infant baptism.

“It is no simple thing to address the future shape of the ecumenical movement in Canada. The Christian churches represent a broad spectrum of diverse and sometimes divergent viewpoints on how Christian brothers and sisters should and should not relate to each other,” said Harder.

“Thankfully, the Biblical vision of Christian unity is clear and compelling. The Apostle Paul reminds the church to ‘pursue every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ One important task of the Christian church is to ponder, together, what it means to envision ‘one body and one Spirit’ and to ask, ‘How shall we act in faithfulness to this vision?’” he added, citing Ephesians 4: 3-4.

Harder will speak on the topic of the “Future of Canadian Ecumenism.” He will be joined by Richard Schneider, Professor of History, York University and St. Vladimir’s Seminary, NY, and Former President of the Canadian Council of Churches. Their respective addresses, sponsored by the Commission on Faith and Witness of the Canadian Council of Churches, will be presented on Friday, July 7, at 7 p.m. and will be open to the public.

The theme for the entire event is “Acting Together: From Dialogue to Common Mission” and will address how Christians of different faith traditions can coordinate efforts to avoid duplication and engage in common mission. For more information, see www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/1489.