May 2009 - Vol. 30.
A Tribute to Steve Clark, continued

A Pioneer of Ecumenical Covenant Communities

by Paul Dinolfo

As a Protestant in the Sword of the Spirit, I have found Steve's ecumenical credentials a great encouragement. Since his conversion to Christianity, Steve has combined a strong commitment to his own church, the Catholic Church, with an openness to Christians from other church communions. His openness to Pentecostals helped prepare the first Catholics to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. His commitment to the Catholic Church helped shape the Catholic charismatic renewal so that it did not become a divisive movement as it had in so many other church communions prior to 1965. Subsequently the Catholic charismatic renewal became a model for the charismatic renewal. I believe this contributed greatly to the subsequent  success of the charismatic renewal movement. 

As Christians from many different church communions began coming together in Ann Arbor, Steve recognized the hand of God and saw what was happening as an answer to the ecumenical vision of Vatican II. Steve embraced this grass roots, daily-life ecumenism and developed the theological and practical teaching to support it. He developed the main outlines of our understanding of cooperative ecumenism, convergent ecumenism, and our ecumenical approach. Steve pioneered the development of the first ecumenical covenant community. There are currently nine fully-developed ecumenical communities in the Sword of the Spirit. Steve has been directly involved in the formation of seven of them. 

In this regard it is also important to note the ecumenical impact of all of Steve's teaching. It is always deeply grounded in Scripture. Steve has influenced the Sword of the Spirit so that our teaching is likewise grounded in Scripture. This makes the Sword of the Spirit accessible to Christians from all church communions. 

[Paul Dinolfo is the Senior Coordinator Work of Christ Community Lansing, Michigan, USA.] 


Words of Tribute: Go to > Next Page
> A Great Man of God, by Jean Barbara
> A Vision for Christian Community, a brief overview of Steve's life by Michael Shaughnessy
> A Founder and Spiritual Father, by Carlos Vargas
> Ecumenical Contribution, by Paul Dinolfo
> Steve's Generous Investment, by Andy Kebe
> Books by Steve Clark
> Articles by Steve Clark in Living Bulwark 
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