FIVE WAYS GROUP MEETS IN SAINT PAUL

Five Ways Group Meets in St. Paul

By Fr. Harry Winter, OMI

The Five Ways Fellowship held its spring meeting in the St. Francis Chapel, St. Patrick's Church, St. Paul, MN on Wednesday evening, May 7, repeated Thursday morning, May 8.  The Fellowship, which consists of Christians concerned about the unity of the Church, for the sake of evangelization, has about 50 members in the Twin Cities area.  A total of 20 were able to attend the two meetings.

We are called "Five Ways," because each member is aware of the five ways today of being Christian: Catholic Christianity; Evangelical and Charismatic Christianity; Neo-Orthodox Protestantism and Vatican II; Fundamentalist Christianity; and Liberal Christianity

"Catholic Christians (and they exist in every denomination) are baptized as infants, love the sacraments, and are suspicious of emotion. Evangelical/charismatic Christians search for a born again experience, or baptism in the Spirit, as adults. They welcome emotion, long sermons, witnessing, and are uneasy with structures such as sacraments. Reformed (neo-orthodox) Vatican II Christians recognize the necessity of change and renewal, and frequently mediate between those Christians who practically worship change (liberals) and those who view any change as betrayal (fundamentalists)”.  - Dividing or Strengthening” Five Ways of Christianity by Fr. Harry Winter, OMI

 

               L-R: Joan Scheller, Shirley Heilman, Tom Nordren, Anna Elia, Jim West, Loretta Connellly (all St. Patrick's) and Jackie Blossom (St. Casimir).                              L-R Tatiana Flom, MD, Rev. Dr. Richard Flom, MD, Fr. Harry Winter, OMI, Rev. Steve West, (Assembly of God)

 L-R: Joan Scheller, Shirley Heilman, Tom Nordren, Anna Elia, Jim West,             L-R Tatiana Flom, MD, Rev. Dr. Richard Flom, MD, Fr. Harry

  Loretta Connellly (all St. Patrick's) and Jackie Blossom (St. Casimir).                          Winter, OMI, Rev. Steve West, (Assembly of God)

  

 Usually a member relates strongly to one of these ways, is sympathetic to another, and instinctively repulsed by a third.  One of the goals of the Fellowship is to work with all five kinds.

A meeting usually begins with a Christian leader describing their particular Church, and indicating what gift that Church brings to ecumenism.  Rev. Dr. Richard Flom MD, a priest of the (Eastern) Orthodox Church in America, fascinated our spring meeting with the account of his and his wife's journey. Richard, a neurologist, and his wife, Tatiana, a specialist in home visitation (both medical doctors), journeyed from membership in a Protestant Church, through the Cursillo and Charismatic movements, into Eastern Orthodoxy. 

In the second part of each meeting, we share what is going on in our lives concerning the unity of Churches for the sake of Mission.  A special page "Five Ways" on the Mission-Unity-Dialogue website www.harrywinter.org furnishes a place where each member can be up to date between the spring and fall meetings.  With Pope Francis pushing Christian Unity so strongly, and Oblates of Mary required by our Constitutions and Rules to work for the unity of Christians (C 6), the Five Ways Fellowship provides a model and a possible home for Oblate parishes, retreat centers, and Oblate Associates.