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January update

From Don McCoid

At the time of our meeting, Kathryn was accompanying Bishop Eaton and others on a trip to the Holy Land and was not able to join us. More info. below.

The Ecclesiology Task Force met December 18-19. There will be a recommendation to the Church Council and the next ELCA Assembly to add both the LWF (our communion of churches) and the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” church to Chapter 3 – on the Nature of the Church!

Study Guide for From Conflict to Communion is now completed. It will be formatted before it is copied, printed, and available.

Pittsburgh ELCA and Catholic clergy will meet for a renewal day on April 29th. Dr. Timothy Wengert and Fr. John Crossin will make presentations. We will discuss From Conflict to Communion and “help” local clergy to implement how to study this document together. Bishops from the SW PA Synod, the Pittsburgh Diocese, Greensburg Diocese, and Byzantine Archdiocese will be present.

The Declaration on the Way task force meets in Washington, D.C. on January 28-31.  The major parts of the Declaration will include:

  • The work of national and international dialogues that we believe we have come to sufficient agreement so that these issues are no longer church dividing:
    • Ecclesiology
    • Ministry
    • Eucharist
  • Remaining differences and possible ways forward in resolving them
  • Pastoral Implications for our living and witnessing together as we continue In Via
We have great scholars working on this major project. The three groups will need to put their work together so that it flows smoothly and covers the parts of the Declaration listed above.

Ecumenical Journey will be from February 1-13. It will be a significant trip for our Presiding Bishop, as well as other leaders in our church.

Middle East Trip  -  Kathryn is currently accompanying Bishop Eaton and others on a trip to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordon and the Holy Land, and visiting key leaders and places.  Following an 18-hour day, she shared where they had traveled on Tuesday:
. . . a tour of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, audience with the Director General of the mosque, audiences with the Greek Orthodox, Latin, and Armenian Patriarchs, visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, conversation with Mitri Raheb and tour of Dar Al-Kalima College, and dinner with the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land.
Of course, discussions and engagements with religious leaders are vital. She will have a number of things to share when LEIRN meets again.

Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC) – Kathryn participated in the CUIC Coordinating Council December 10-12 in Florida. Members participated in a racial justice training, and discussed their commitments and expectations for CUIC. A summit, including heads of communion, will be held in 2015, in order to continue this conversation and to make strategic decisions for the future. 

Other board meeting highlights

    • There will be a significant presence of evangelicals at this year's NWCU in Charlotte and the beginning of an evangelical network that will continue to be engaged with the NWCU. This is a welcome development!
    • The NWCU registration fee will increase slightly this year to cover the cost of the luncheons that we all share.
    • We are able to charge a one-day fee for local people who participate in the Workshop and waive the fee for students.
    • As soon as the brochure is ready, the National Planning Committee will do a mailing to everyone in the NWCU database that should hit all past participants.
    • NWCU and LEIRN registration can all be done electronically this year (finally!) from
    • Rocky Piro and Mary Finklea will represent LEIRN at the EDEIO Executive Board meeting in Delray Beach Florida, February 2-5, along with representatives of UMEIT and CADEIO. They will continue to develop the agenda for the LEIRN plenaries at the NWCU. As soon as that schedule is complete, details will be shared here.
    • Our condolences to LEIRN Secretary Tim Philabaum on the death of his father, the Rev. Bernie Philabaum. Rest eternal grant unto him, and let light perpetual shine upon him.

Next meeting: February 20, 2015 at 10:30 EST


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