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years to bear common witness in other tangible ways. They’ve done so at the local level, especially

through shared mission in the community, partnership between congregations in service and the exchange of clergy. Nationally, the churches have worked together through theological dialogue and advocacy for the common good. Through the agreement, heads of each commu-

nion and ecumenical officers have developed deep relationships with one another, giving them the assurance to speak with one voice. Today full communion partners agree that those relationships remain a vital aspect of their shared identity. “We’ve been in partnership for 20 years, and

this has given us the opportunity to share in our differences, to challenge one another, but also to pursue a greater and deeper unity and to bless one another with our individual gifts,” said Monica Schaap Pierce, ecumenical associate of the RCA. “Each communion has its own gift it brings to the ecumenical world.”


in the Ports of Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York & New England

and You in our Guesthouse while visiting New York City Immigrants

from detention centers in New Jersey and New York

Looking forward As the anniversary meetings between heads of communion and ecumenical representatives concluded, church leaders expressed confidence and hope that the partnership will remain an important part of each denomination’s identity and their life together. “The identity of the UCC as a united and uniting

church is forged in the context of ecumenical commitment and Jesus’ prayer that they will all be one,” Thompson said. “These agreements are ways in which we can do church together, be the church together and bring witness to what it means to be united in these times.” “This agreement is valuable for us as Lutherans

because it reminds us about our common witness in the world,” Lohre said. “This is particularly important as we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We recognize that the church’s history and the Reformation are part of a larger story that has unfolded over many years and for many traditions. We acknowledge that the history is not ours nor is it a singular story for all Reformed churches. We recognize our diversity amid commonality.”


%RRN RQOLQH ZZZ VLKQ\F RUJ Inquire about our clergy discount 212-677-4800

Your patronage spports our mission for seafarers and immigrants. A Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Jill Dierberg Clark is a freelance writer living with her husband and twins in the St. Louis area.

Download a study guide by clicking on the “Spiritual practices & resources” tab at

34 JUNE 2017

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