A testimony by Pete and Amy Coyle
We are Pete and Amy Coyle, part of the Antioch Community in London. Our marriage is an ecumenical one, with Pete being a Catholic and Amy from a non-denominational church background.
Ecumenism deepens our faith as we see the differences in how we both live our Christian lives. I (Amy) have learned a lot about reverence in worship and I value the stillness and reflection at Mass. I’ve also really enjoyed embracing liturgy as a way to connect with God, which is something really new to me. I (Pete) am always encouraged by the call to discipleship in the sermons at Amy’s church and I am inspired by the works of service that they do around the local community.
There are also some challenges that come with an ecumenical marriage. Practically, trying to attend two church services plus a community meeting on Sundays can be tiring! Sometimes it is difficult that we are unable to fully enter into each other’s church services, particularly around the area of communion. But all marriages involve having to make sacrifices and this is one way we lay down our lives for each other.
We think ecumenism is a great witness to our faith. Sharing our lives in Christian community with brothers and sisters from different traditions is a powerful demonstration of how Christians can be united and a real force for good in society.
Living in an ecumenical community provides us with support and encouragement for our own ecumenical family. We can worship together freely, receive teaching and share our life together without some of the complications that can sometimes come with church services. We are also able to share our lives with other ecumenical couples and receive the blessing and wisdom that they can share with us, and hopefully share and encourage them in turn. Ecumenical community provides us with the support and strength that we would struggle to find elsewhere.
This article and photo is excerpted from © The Sword of the Spirit reflections for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity January 18 – 25 2023.