Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017
On Monday, March 13, Southern Ohio Synod Bishop Suzanne Dillahunt hosted a convocation at Holy Trinity led by Father John W. Crossing, Secretariat of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops of Ecumenical Affairs and former bishop Reverend Donald McCoid, Executive Director for the ELCA Office of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations. Both leaders have been active participants in reconciling dialogs between the two church bodies that started to emerge some fifty years ago. Grounding that discussion on our common faith in Christ Jesus as Lord, 32 out of 47 topics of discord have been reconciled over that time. It appears 10 more could be reconciled in the next several years, leaving five major points of disagreement for further conversation and intervention by the Holy Spirit until the day when the two churches might again share full communion with one another the way Lutherans currently do with Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists.
Thanks be to God that Holy Trinity Lutheran Church itself has had opportunity to play a meaningful role of a reformation debate within the church that was begun 500 years in Wittenberg, Germany. May the Holy Spirit keep drawing our churches closer together and thereby strengthen our witness to the mercy and grace of the One we worship: Jesus Christ our Lord.