With this first submission of Ecumenical Endeavors, I’ll be forwarding snippets taken from various sources (such as the Episcopal Church’s Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations) which describe ongoing and new efforts in which the Episcopal Church is involved.
Dialogues continue apace. The Lutheran Episcopal Coordinating Committee has approved a “Proposal for Exchangeability of the Diaconate” based on our full communion agreement, “Called to Common Mission.” The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has received the proposal, affirming that “a vital area for deepening our partnership is through diakonia or service.” A similar process for reception and affirmation is underway in The Episcopal Church.
At May’s National Worship on Christian Unity, the Rev. David Simmons (NWCU Co Chair) gave a presentation on the relationship of his parish in Waukesha, which features a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation “nested” within it—and with whom they have combined worship. And The Ven. Walter Baer also presented on the upcoming proposal for full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria (ELKB), which will be on the agenda for the next General Convention of The Episcopal Church.
The most recent meeting of the Anglican-Roman Catholic USA (ARC-USA) dialogue was a productive time that featured collaborative revision of a joint statement on reconciliation. Reconciliation is at the heart of the common work of The Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Even when our two churches are unable to live in full, visible communion (to borrow a phrase from the ecumenical movement), we believe that continuing to labor for reconciliation serves as a gospel witness to the world. A forthcoming document will seek to speak to the needs for reconciliation in the spheres of the ecumenical, interreligious, political, racial, and ecological. The hope of all members of this dialogue has been that our common words will be a source of inspiration for those who call these churches home so that they might find common cause in the work of God’s reconciling love.
A lot is happening and there is even more to look forward to. Perhaps we are in an “ecumenical summer!”
The Rev. Mike Wernick
Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer
the Episcopal Dioceses of Western and Eastern Michigan