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.