Ecumenical Endeavors

A number of important dialogue meetings are set to occur this fall. These dialogues will serve as important stepping stones for resolutions that will be brought to the 81st General Convention of The Episcopal Church in June of next year. The Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, which will compose the proposed resolutions coming out of these dialogues, will meet in Baltimore in October.

The United Methodist-Episcopal Church Dialogue will meet in Atlanta in November to discuss the full communion proposal “A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness.” The United Methodist Church, a world-wide communion, has been split over issues of human sexuality.

The Lutheran-piscopal Coordinating Committee will discuss a proposal for the sharing of deacons between the two denominations, which builds upon the historic full communion agreement between the two denominations, “Called to Common Mission.”

The Presbyterian-Episcopal Church Dialogue will meet this fall to follow up on the 80th General Convention’s reception of the Episcopal-Presbyterian Agreement on Local Sharing of Ministries.

The Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Consultation in the United States of America (ARCUSA) will meet in November via Zoom. The meeting, entitled “A New Journey in Reconciliation,” will focus on ecological, racial, and ecclesiological reconciliation.

The Moravian-Episcopal Coordinating Committee will meet in September. In addition:

The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) met in Geneva, Switzerland (June 21-27), marking the first central committee meeting under the newly installed General Secretary Jerry Pillay. The meeting also commemorated the WCC’s 75th anniversary with a special worship event.

The United Church of Christ (UCC) met for its 2023 General Synod in Indianapolis (June 30-July 4). The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson was elected as the denomination’s general minister and president, making her not only the first woman, but the first Black woman to hold the title in the UCC’s history. Previously, Thompson was both director of Global Ministries and our colleague as an ecumenical and interreligious officer for the UCC.

The Moravian Church’s Northern Province Synod in Bethlehem, PA (which includes congregations in Canada) approved in June, a full communion relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada. This
completes the full communion circle with the “Churches Beyond Borders” resolution approved at General Convention last July.

“The Philadelphia Eleven,” a new documentary directed by Margo Guernsey and Nikki Bramley about the first eleven women to be ordained as priests in The Episcopal Church, is set to premiere September 30 at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia (the same church where the eleven ordinations took place in 1974).

The Rev. Mike Wernick
Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer
the Episcopal Dioceses of Western and Eastern Michigan