June 24th, 2005


New Member
Encourage one another and build up each other.

-1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NRSV)

RECENTLY, I became engaged to my college sweetheart. When Mary and I first met, each of us had a strong faith, resulting from years of attending worship, youth group, church camp, and other religious activities. But our beliefs had the potential to create misunderstanding and pain in our young relationship. Mary is Roman Catholic, and her family is deeply involved in that faith communion. On the other hand, I am a devoted Protestant, the son and grandson of United Methodist pastors.

Determined to find common ground, we read scripture, discussed church polity, attended worship at each other's churches, and openly shared our beliefs. Eventually, we found that we had more in common than we anticipated. Once we were challenged to learn about each other's spiritual heritage and practices, we began not only to understand one another but also to grow in our faith.

Christ calls us to unite in him and work for his kingdom here on earth, no matter what Christian tradition we come from. Since our similarities greatly outnumber our differences, let us fulfill Christ's calling to be one body and one faith.

Steve Yoost (Ohio, U.S.A.)

Lord of all, help us to use the gifts you have given us to build up one another in love. In Jesus' name. Amen.