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Redeeming Disunity: A Sermon for the Confession of Peter

We are meeting on the first day of what is widely observed as a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, sponsored by both the World Council of Churches, which includes very many Protestant and Orthodox groups, and by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church. If that doesn't already include you, please consider yourself incorporated into this exercise. It's an opportunity for us to ponder both the challenge of Christian disunity and the promise of Christ that we may be one.  One of the consequences of Christian disunity however is that we don't agree on what unity is. Broadly speaking there are two versions of unity, one that starts with the institutional and visible, and one that starts with the immaterial and affective. Each has characteristic strengths and weaknesses.  The idea that unity means the institutional visible Church has the virtue of foregrounding the material and practical, as incarnational faith should - yet often institutions prove

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