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Showing posts from 2014

Multifaith Chaplaincy

Please note the following information about a course on chaplaincy in multifaith contexts. Click here for a PDF version of the brochure.

November/December Update

Dear Friends:

Here is the most recent update from Kathryn and Don and the highlights from our recent board conference call, which featured a conversation with Marcus Kunz, the ELCA's Executive for Theological Discernment, about Churchwide observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We are planning to devote significant time to that topic at our annual meeting at the NWCU in April. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, put April 20-23 on your calendar, and look for National Workshop flyers to arrive soon.

In Christ,

The LEIRN Board

From Don McCoid and Kathryn Lohre Full Communion Partners 
Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee The Lutheran Episcopal Coordinating Committee (LECC) met in Detroit November 5-7, hosted by the ELCA SE Michigan Synod, and Bishop Don Kreiss as the new ELCA co-chair. The Committee’s work focused on conversation around CCM going forward, the challenges and opportunities. Integral to this was conversation was time spent with local clergy …
Fifty Years of Dialogue, as Told by a Lutheran By Rev. Donald J. McCoid

When I entered seminary in 1965, it became very evident that the Second Vatican Council was influencing theology, liturgy, and ecumenism for Catholics and for other Christians . . .  Read more . . .

October Update

It's barely November, so that must mean that it's time for the October update. Please remember to subscribe to the blog via email, so that you are notified when the monthly (and other) updates are posted, and let others know about us.

From Kathryn Lohre and Don McCoid Full Communion Partners
ELCA-UMC The coordinating committee will meet November 13-14. The work will be focused on revitalizing congregations and we will also begin to look at advocacy. A joint worship service will be held to celebrate the 5th anniversary. Bishop Miller will preach and Bishop Dyck (UMC Northern Illinois Conference) will preside. Bishop Lull will replace Bishop Pile on the Committee. Please continue to lift up the 5th anniversary of this full communion agreement, and share the formation template located under the tab above.
ELCA-TEC The Lutheran Episcopal Coordinating Committee (LECC) will be meeting in Detroit in November. Bishop Kreiss has agreed to serve as co-chair, succeeding Mitzi Budde, who wi…

The Fruit of Prayer: Spiritual Disciplines for Ecumenism

We are pleased to publish this essay by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, an ordained pastor in the ELCA, assistant research professor at the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France, and the editor of Lutheran Forum. Look for more pieces from Dr. Wilson in the future.

The Fruit of Prayer Spiritual Disciplines for Ecumenism
In some ways ecumenism is a threatening undertaking. Our churches have become comfortable with their separated existences, which sometimes have been established for centuries. Our natural instinct is to protect our own interests, our own family, or our own heritage. It sometimes seems that, if ecumenism’s goal is to say we’re all one, then all the things our ancestors fought for, all the things we love most dearly, are suddenly worthless. On the flip side, we often see things in other churches that disturb us greatly. Sometimes we don’t understand them and so misinterpret them; but sometimes we do understand them and we disagree profoundly. In this light, ecumenis…

September Update

The board did not meet in August. Here's the latest update from our recent meeting with Don and Kathryn and other highlights.

From Kathryn Lohre and Don McCoid Presiding Bishop’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land The Presiding Bishop intended to travel to Israel, Palestine and Jordan in late July/early August with a small delegation to visit the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Due to the war, the trip was postponed, and will likely be rescheduled in early 2015.

Word and Service Entrance Rite Meeting Kathryn and Don attended this meeting on July 30-31. There is a one roster committee that is developing rationale for the unification of the three lay rosters (AIMs, Diaconal Ministers, and Deaconesses). The Word and Service Entrance Rite task force was established by the Church Council to recommend whether a person entering this one roster would be ordained, consecrated, and/or commissioned.

Don shared the practice of the Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church, an…

Shoulder to Shoulder Webinar


Join us for an interactive webinar, put on collaboratively by Muslim Advocates and the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, to learn tools, resources and strategies to push back against hate in our communities and online.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
9:00 am PT / 12:00 pm ET

There's still room!  Click here to RSVP by Sunday, September 21.
If you haven't heard about the Greater Washington Immigration Film Festival, you'll want to know what's happening so you can carve out some time in late October!

The film festival aims to put a face on immigration and to motivate viewers to call for changes in immigration reform.  Click here for more information and to purchase tickets

Shoulder to Shoulder will be participating in 9/11 Unity walk on September 21!  9/11 Unity Walk brings together people of all ages, backgrounds and faiths to learn to respect each other through a framework of experiential education, compassionate leadership and intentional service.


"Glocal" gathering with interfaith focus

ELCA Glocal Interfatih Innovations Excelsior, Minnesota Gather a Team
The Excelsior ELCA Glocal Interfaith Innovations will gather community leaders for two days of learning, networking and capacity building towards interfaith dialogue.

As you gather your team, remember that this event is for everyone interested in engaging their neighbors of different faith backgrounds, including youth ages 16 and up. Consider inviting your pastors, church council, Sunday school teachers, worship, outreach, stewardship, hunger, global mission, youth and family ministry teams.

Invite members of your congregation, a group from your ministry organization, friends from your Bible study, your campus ministry group or neighbors in your community. This is a great opportunity to reach out and get to know your brothers and sisters of different faiths and religions!

When? Friday, November 14, 2014, 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM Saturday, November 15, 2014, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Central Time
Where? Mount Calvary Lutheran Church  301 Cou…

Reflections on the National Workshop on Christian Unity

Ecumenists from many traditions gathered in Albuquerque, NM from April 28 - May 1 for the National Workshop on Christian Unity, during which the annual meeting of our network was also held. Two participants kindly offered reflections on our time together.

John Huber, a long-time participant in these gatherings as a member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, offered the following highlights at a meeting of the Southern California Ecumenical Council . . .

Kenny Bowen , LEIRN board member from Region 2, provided this report to the bishops of his region . . .

To complement John and Kenny's insights, there are now many photos of the Workshop posted on the NWCU website . . .

Enjoy reading about the Albuquerque experience, and mark your calendar for the 2015 NWCU in Charlotte, NC -- April 20 - 23!

July 2014 Update

From Kathryn Lohre and Don McCoid Ecumenical Officers’ Retreat – Bergamo Center, Ohio, June 25-27 Kathryn Lohre attended the annual ecumenical officers’ retreat at a Catholic retreat center in Ohio. Participants shared in prayer and worship, offered updates from the churches, and discussed strengthening ecumenical witness in the US in a time of rapid change. The most valuable aspect of the retreat is relationship building with colleagues, support, and sharing of common concerns and joys.

LWF Global Young Reformers Network Nominations Bishop Eaton recently made two nominations to serve as part of the LWF Global Young Reformers Network, a program to connect, train, and empower young leaders from the LWF member churches through virtual meetings, networking and a meeting in Wittenberg in 2015. The primary delegate is Nicole Newman, a member of Luther Place in DC, and co-chair of MYLE 2015. The secondary delegate, who will be the alternate for the Wittenberg meeting, is Kyle Thorson, an a…

June 2014 Update

Welcome back to the LEIRN blog! We have not had any updates since before the LEIRN annual meeting in Albuquerque at the National Workshop on Christian Unity, and the board did not meet in May. We needed a break after all the time we spent together in Albuquerque!

Look for minutes from our June meeting to be posted here soon, along with a few reflections on our time at the NWCU. If you were there and have some thoughts about the whole experience or a particular seminar that you attended, please email them to me for posting ( We would love to share your thoughts with the network. In the meantime, here is a summary of what Kathryn and Don have been up to in recent weeks. As you can see, they have been very busy!

Chris Olkiewicz
LEIRN President

From Kathryn Lohre and Don McCoidNCC Christian Unity Gathering – May 18-20After an 18 month transition period, the National Council of Churches USA held its first major gathering, launching the new structure. The “Christian Unity Gath…

March 2014 Update

From Kathryn Lohre and Don McCoid Catholic Dialogue The dialogue met at the end of February. The scholars are blending some important insights in looking at Sources of Authority. We should be able to have substantive insights to share when the round is complete. In addition the 50th Anniversary of the Dialogue will be celebrated next May (2015) in Washington, during the dialogue meeting.
Conference of Bishops The meeting was held in early March. We met with the liaison committee of the COB. Of interest was some of the sharing that was done by the liaison bishops. There seems to be a decline throughout the U.S. of state councils of churches and regional ecumenical councils. Those who include inter-religious relations are doing better. An update from the Global Ecclesiology Task Force was given. Bishop Eaton was supportive of ecumenical ministry in her report.

Lutheran World Federation Guests from the LWF staff from Geneva visited our offices on March 11-12. The executives from Ecumeni…

Coming Soon: The National Workshop on Christian Unity!

We hope that you are planning on joining us for the annual meeting of LERN in the context of the National Workshop on Christian Unity, held this year in lovely Albuquerque, NM from April 28 - May 1.

Here's everything you need to know to get ready for a great experience!

Early-Bird Registration To take advantage of the early-bird discount, register by March 22 on the NWCU website . . .
Also register for the LERN meeting while on the NWCU site. The link will take you to a secure page on the ELCA website, where you may pay the $45 LERN registration fee.
LERN Schedule As you make travel arrangements, please note that the first meeting of LERN begins at 2:00 on Monday afternoon.

Monday, April 28

Registration Executive Board Meeting Newcomers Luncheon

Briefing by ELCA Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations Staff 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 10:00 - 11:45 a.m. 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.

2:00 - 4:45 p.m.

Tuesday, April 29
From Conflict to Communion Network Business/Elections 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. 5:15 - 6:00 p.m.