An Evangelical and a Roman Catholic walk into an ecumenical dialogue… It sounds like the beginning of a terrible (and terribly boring) joke, but it was actually the beginning of the Institute for Christian Unity. From a friendship formed over a number of years of sitting together in formal conversations between Evangelicals, Lutherans and Catholics, the Institute began to take shape in the fall of 2013. Over the next few months, we discovered that there was a great deal of energy, activity and momentum around New England for closer relationships and partnerships across various denominational boundaries – especially among younger leaders. But something seemed to be missing: a “center of gravity”; a place where all the emerging connections could be networked together and where folk who had a heart for reconciliation between Christians could find resources, support and mentoring. In May of 2014, we came into formal existence as an extension ministry of Emmanuel Gospel Center.
We are dedicated to the full visible unity of Christ’s Church, but are convinced that is an ultimate work of the Holy Spirit and not an initiated and organized human activity. We are many things as an expression of this dedication: think tank, clearing house, network, catalyst. But most of all, we hope in our work and prayer to be an embodiment of Jesus’ own prayer to the Father: “that they may become completely one, so that the world will know that You have sent me…” (John 17:23)