One Sunday during the Easter season, my wife and I attended St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in New York City. It is a “catholic minded” Lutheran church with a good, clean liturgy; enthusiastic singing; and fine preaching. In my experience such ELCA parishes are hardly exceptional.
But what struck me most was the introduction to the Prayers of the People which went something like this: “We pray for Benedict, Bishop of Rome; and Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch; for our Presiding Bishop, Mark; and for Katharine, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church; for our own Bishop, Stephen; and for Mark, Bishop of the Diocese of New York.”
I wonder how many Episcopal churches across the country pray for the bishops of their full communion partner, the ELCA, or for neighboring Lutheran congregations; much less demonstrate liturgically an awareness that we are part of the larger Church, east and west, by remembering the leaders of the largest churches in the world?
Precious few, I’m afraid. But we could start.