Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Minister, A Rabbi, And An Imam...


I usually sleep poorly my first night in a hotel room. Not last night. Last night I closed my eyes and lapsed into a deep and dreamless 9 hour slumber.

I woke this morning to a long day of meetings. We're packing a lot into the time we have here.

Breakfast was sponsored by the Blackmoor Institute. You'll have to Google it. This blogger app is kind of Spartan. I could probably make the links, but I'm too tired to fuss with it.

After breakfast, I attended a session on the Art of Ecumenical and Inter-religious Dialogue led by an affable Roman Catholic priest named Leo Walsh. There were many things I learned but let me cite just one. Fr. Walsh invoked the Lund Principle: "Churches should act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel then to act separately." Or, "What we can do together, we should do together."

Today's keynote address was a talk on the history and legacy of Vatican II after 50 years. The speaker, John Borelli was engaging and scholarly. He reminded us that the results of the second Vatican Council are still being lived out.

A panel discussion over lunch looked, among other things, at the effects of Vatican II on other church bodies.

Then I attended a session led by a rabbi, an imam and and Methodist pastor on "Reading Each Other's Scriptures." This was a highlight of my day. It was good to see people of different religious traditions interact with respect and good humor.

Next was a meeting of LERN in which we discussed the so-called "Lima Document," a 30 year old "convergence document" that outlined broad areas of agreement among various Christian denominations on the subjects of Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry. Again, Google it.

The day's last event was a joint Episcopal/Methodist Communion service at St. Paul's Cathedral. It was cool.

I feel fortunate to be here among intelligent, articulate and civil people who are committed to actualizing the unity of God's diverse people.

Good night!


  1. Wish I could be there! But... civility is no fun!!!

  2. Oo, I just saw this series of posts that you're at the NWCU conference! I just heard about this organization in September at the NAAE conference I attended and have been curious about it, so I hope you'll give a summary "now that I'm home, here's what I thought" post.

    Anyway to the point of this comment: in my ecclesiology course last semester, my professor raised the question of why the Lima document was still so significant in ecumenical dialogue, even though it's 30 years old.

    Personally part of my answer was, "It may be 30 years old, but I'd never heard of it till 5 years ago!" But I am curious about your response to this question, either personally or based on the session you attended.

    I really loved reading BEM: I loved that there was more text in common than in dispute, and I loved leafing through the, what was it, 5 or 6 volumes(!!!) of responses.