The webinar was dedicated to the Anglican-Pentecostal relations and Reformed–Pentecostal bilateral dialogue.
Speakers shared theological insights and deepened the understanding of the bilateral dialogues, explored the experience and results of these ecumenical dialogues, and analysed methodologies and diverse approaches adopted during the dialogues.
They also shared their challenges in the process of the dialogues, examining the correspondence of the bilateral dialogues to the actual reality of the churches involved.
Rev. Prof. Dr Sandra Beardsall, who served as moderator of the webinar, explained in introductory remarks that “bilateral dialogues delve deeply” and explained that the speakers have profound experience in the history of the bilateral dialogues and their specific topics by either being involved in one or more of such ecumenical dialogues or they have studied intensively their processes, methodologies, results, and reception.
Rev. Dr David Hilborn offered, among many other facets of the Anglican-Pentecostal dialogue, a look at how it’s very common for the Church of England to rent buildings to Pentecostal churches.
As the dialogue deepens, Hilborn said, different aspects rise to the surface for discussion.
“We’re very intrigued by the way Pentecostals construe the sacraments,” he said.
Rev. Dr Setri Nyomi, in speaking about the importance of bilateral dialogues to the Reformed church, said: “The Reformed family would describe itself as to be Reformed is to be ecumenical,” he said. “Some within our own ranks have questioned the importance of bilateral dialogues, especially when we look at all the challenges that face us in the world today and what we are called to do.”
But, Nyomi stressed, and was echoed by other speakers, bilateral dialogues are of vital importance in strengthening Christian unity.
Dr Jean-Daniel Plüss offered a short history of the Reformed-Pentecostal dialogue. “There is usually a very clear reason or a concern why a dialogue should happen,” he explained, delving into some specific reasons.
The webinar is part of a series that began in 2020, created by the WCC Commission on Faith and Order to draw on the profound experience of those involved in bilateral dialogues.