Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ecumenical Escapades

My two most favorite lines of the Creed follow one another: "We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins." I find great comfort in these words. Opportunities to recite them multiplied during this summer's ecumenical escapades.

Thanks to Twitter, I (sort of) attended two important church-wide assemblies from the comfort of my hermitage. In July, I was fixated on what Episcopalians were up to during their 76th General Convention (GC) in Anaheim California.

Last week, I was captivated by the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

(In both instances, I couldn't resist jumping into the conversations. My ecumenical network has expanded exponentially as a result.)

And if I'm fascinated by how internecine battles threaten to rupture church unity, I'm even more intrigued by how each communion recuperates from self-inflicted battle wounds. (Case in point: on Friday, I sent an audio clip of pastoral remarks made by Bishop Mark Hanson to the ELCA assembly to several Roman Catholic and Episcopal friends.) The fact that I am neither Episcopalian nor Lutheran, prompted one Twitter bud to quip, "You are obviously a synodaholic." Proudly guilty as charged, Reverend Scott Gun.

Yes, I'm enthralled by the messiness of Christianity as practiced by Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Anglican/Episcopal churches -- probably because I was baptized as an adult; definitely because I was raised Jewish and cannot help but notice a certain redundancy in it all.

For an excellent account of the ELCA event(s), please visit BayaThread, a blog written by Baya Clare, CSJ.


  1. This is just appalling. If Luther, the late German Christian protester, would still be here…where the denomination “Lutherans” derived from, he would be stunned and completely disappointed in this horrible abomination to the Word of God and the Gospel. I totally am against this election. When God created “man” he created Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and STEVE!!! Hello people. This is a direct form of disobedience to God. And this is happening in a Church, a denomination that professes to know the Word of God???? Please, God will have to deal with you guys…and it won’t be pretty.

  2. Ah, Jason...this is why I return to reciting the Creed.

    And for the sake of historical accuracy and what it's worth, Luther was a Roman Catholic; also insanely antisemitic.

  3. We (the Tallil Ali Air Base Dead Poets Society) just finished Inferno and last week the high temp was between 130-133. It was fun to see how people reacted to seeing the sins punished in their traditional order and not the Evangelical view of today. Imagine a place where envy, fraud, heresy, and pride were the worst possible sins, not the basis of TV shows.

    I am not sure what it feels like to be "captivated" by the debates of the ECLA!!!


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