Chapter 9 » 9.19

Local meetings and ecumenical relationships

Our relationships with other churches are likely to involve us in joint religious services of various kinds. Sometimes there will be opportunities to introduce members of other churches to Quaker worship, thereby broadening their ecumenical experience. At other times we may participate in forms of worship which broaden our own. It may be appropriate on some ecumenical occasions for us to arrange meetings for worship that include some programmed elements.

When we find ourselves representing Friends in worship arranged by other churches we may have to make difficult decisions about the extent of our involvement. The difficulty is particularly acute in eucharistic worship, where different forms of eucharistic sharing are now frequently offered and are commonly seen by other Christians as both the means and the end of unity. Friends’ testimony is to a corporate life and experience of God which does not depend on the observance of outward sacraments. Abstaining from the outward sacraments does not inevitably follow from this, but is one way of witnessing to it, particularly when the importance of the outward sacraments in building up the life of the church is being stressed.

See also 27.3527.36 Priesthood & 27.3727.44 Sacraments

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