"One in Hope and Doctrine, One in Charity": Ecumenism in the Context of Social Justice and Social Outreach Ministry

Sheryl Johnson


This paper examines both local and national ecumenical activities in the Canadian context by tracing their differing histories and present incarnations.  The community of St. James Town in the inner-city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is used to highlight ecumenical activity between churches in a high-needs community.  Though local ecumenical networks share some similarity with national ecumenical coalitions, they are not merely replications of this work on a smaller scale.  A nuanced study of the ecumenical activity in this Canadian community offers insight into the complexity of beliefs, actions, and denominational identities.  In this community, ecumenism provides a solution to many logistical issues for the churches to meet the physical and immediate needs of the community, and this paper describes this work in addition to offering critical analysis of the tensions occasioned by local forms of ecumenical cooperation.

Full Text: