Skip to main content

“Hazy Hopes Taking Clear Incarnations”

The Lutheran Episcopal Coordinating Committee met in Marriottsville, Maryland, May 9-11, 2016. This Committee is charged with encouraging and assisting efforts in The Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as they live into their relationship of full communion provided for in “Called to Common Mission.” This meeting included visits to three joint Lutheran Episcopal ministries in addition to discussions of ongoing implementation of CCM.

“The hazy hopes for CCM that we had at the beginning have taken clear incarnations. We saw this today.” This evaluation was expressed after the Committee visited three very different local ministries established during the last three years with the support of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA and the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland:

  • The Churches of the Nativity and the Holy Comforter, “An Episcopal Lutheran Community in Baltimore,” The Rev. Stewart Lucas, Episcopal Rector, and the Rev. David Eisenhuth, Lutheran Pastor
  • The Church on the Square, Canton, Maryland, “a post-denominational community church,” The Rev. James Hamilton, Pastoral Missioner, and John Deason, Development Missioner;
  • First English Lutheran Church (sponsor), the “Slate Project,” Baltimore MD (and on the web,, Co-founders the Rev. Jason Chesnut, the Rev. Jennifer DiFrancesco, the Rev. Sara Shisler Goff.
The Committee discussed recent encouragements from a number of sources for the churches of the three (full) communion agreements to find ways to move into closer relation. This discussion was prompted in part by a letter from JALC, the Committee’s partner in Canada. The Committee encouraged the Chair to respond warmly to the invitation of JALC to work together on this project and to communicate to them this resolution:

The Lutheran Episcopal Coordinating Committee receives with gladness the October 5, 2015, letter from the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission;

And requests that ecumenical staff of our churches continue work toward mutual acknowledgement of (full) communion relationships among the churches of the Porvoo Agreement, Called to Common Mission, and the Waterloo Declaration.

A report will be given at the next LECC meeting.

In addition, the Committee discussed a range of topics around its mandate. As Bishop Kreiss reminded the members, “we are given the care and nurture of an agreement that is of critical importance for the work of the gospel going forward in our churches. This is the path to which the Holy Spirit has called us. Our job is to help both of our traditions think creatively about what is possible and what is faithful, as we work to insure that the level of trust and intimacy between our church bodies continues to deepen. Fifteen years into CCM, we can see that this is no longer an experiment but the future of both of our churches.”

The Committee discussed ways to celebrate the 15th anniversary of CCM, challenges and opportunities for joint ministries and how to support them, creating standard guidelines and FAQs for the use of churches considering joint ministries and making the resources more accessible.

The Committee will meet next in Chicago, February 8-10 2017. Dates will be explored with JALC for a joint meeting, with times proposed during the week of November 27 - December 1, 2017.

Members of the Committee:

ELCA: Bishop Donald Kreiss (Lutheran co-chair), Rev. Lowell Almen, Dr. Mitze Budde, Bishop Claire Burkat, Rev. Natalie Hall
TEC: The Rev. Kay Beach, the Rev. Jon Perez
Staff: Dr. Kathryn Johnson (ELCA), Rev. Dr. Charles Robertson, the Rev. Margaret Rose (TEC)


Popular posts from this blog

Staff Report to the LEIRN Board

January 2018
…and just like that, 2017 is now in the past. We can see clearly in hindsight how the joint commemoration service and stadium events in Sweden on October 31, 2016 set the stage for a remarkable year of public acts of ecumenical relations, reconciliation, and cooperation globally, and in our local settings. Thank you, LEIRN, for your significant role in all things 2017. You have been instrumental in planning, prodding, supporting, promoting, participating in, and leading various initiatives, events, and long-term efforts. You helped this anniversary to be markedly different, and in doing so you greatly enhanced our church’s ecumenical self-understanding and witness for the future as we seek to walk together with our sisters and brothers in Christ and neighbors on the way to unity, justice, and peace. In Conflict to Communion, we are reminded that, “In view of 2017, the point is not to tell a different history, but to tell that history differently.”…

Reformation 500 Commemoration Events

We are now posting sermons and bulletins from Reformation 500 commemoration services and events in the Reformation 500+ section above. If you have a sermon manuscript, a bulletin, or other material that you would like to share, email it to me at Let us see what you did and inspire us with your witness to Christian unity!

With thanks,

Chris Olkiewicz

NWCU Report

Ecumenical & Inter-Religious Relations Staff Report to LEIRN National Workshop on Christian Unity Minneapolis, Minnesota; May 1, 2017

We celebrate Bishop Eaton’s presence at our LEIRN session and look forward to the Tuesday morning plenary, when she and Bishop Denis Madden will lead reflections on “After 500 Years: Catholics and Lutherans Together on the Way.”
Lutheran-Catholic Relations/500th Anniversary of the Reformation The anniversary year is giving prominence to this relationship, and participation in anniversary events continues at all levels of this church. Keep up with events through Our office welcomes reports of activities in your synods or local settings: please send them to On March 2, the ELCA Conference of Bishops’ Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations Committee hosted a joint meeting with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Commit…