Washington DC: Unity in Diversity

WASF

The best and the worst are concentrated in this city of sprawling power. The prices are staggering. Some neighborhoods are teeming with people who  are dressed to the nines. In others, practically the  abandoned areas, live the recluses of society, miserably shoving their only possessions into a stolen supermarket trolley

Most major churches have their national headquarters in the capital of the United States. We met several of the leaders of the mainline churches in the USA.

Church or Bible Museum?

Sunday morning we have the dilemma: are we going to visit a church, if so which one? Or the famous Bible Museum? We opted for the second possibility.

Arriving 15 minutes before the doors opened, we were the first to enter this huge seven-story building. After a systematic tour of all the showrooms, we came out practically the last, seven hours later. Tired, happy, touched, blessed… Certainly the most beautiful and significant museum we have visited.

The Cardinal launches a challenge to the Church.

We get a meeting with Cardinal Gregory Walton, Archbishop of Washington, one of the most eminent cardinals in the USA. After a few customary introductions, he wisely tackles the delicate subject of Christian unity and our witness in this world.

His enthusiasm for 2033 grows as the minutes go by. Olivier has the audacity to ask him if he agrees to make a short video to keep track of it. Which he happily accepts. In this video, he challenges the Church and hopes that all Christians can unite around the Resurrection of Christ.

He asks if we would be open to speaking at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the fall. We can tell him that we have already visited Father Walter F. Kedjierski, the director of the dialogue department of the Conference of Bishops, and that discussions are underway to allow us to present JC2033 during this meeting. This news makes him happy.

A Coptic priest challenges us

One of the highlights of our visits is meeting Father Anthony Messeh, a married priest of the Coptic (Egyptian) Church. We will let you watch his video that challenged us. After the video, he has to leave us in a hurry to pick up his daughters from school. Surprising for a clergyman in his black robe and his beautiful Coptic cross on his chest.

Finally, we share a great moment of friendship with our friend Casely Essamuah, Secretary General of the Global Christian Forum. We realize once again how much our missions are parallel. We were thinking about places and times where we could get closer and collaborate. 

Washington is truly a meeting place. We hope that all these meetings will lead to concrete actions and commitments. The seed is sown, the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčcelebrating the 2000th anniversary of Jesus' resurrection in 2033 is making its way into the hearts of several Christian leaders in this influential country.

In a future article we will tell you about the other visits with the presidents (or bishops) of several other Churches, the leaders of the National Council of Churches and the National Evangelical Association.