That We All May Be One

Well, not everyday brings this ecumenical officer such multiple chances to seek unity — but many do.

Lunch today with the new interfaith officer for the American Jewish Committee. Part of my task — to find ways to reassure our Jewish brothers and sisters of our church’s unfailing affection, respect, and solidarity with the Jewish people and our continuing commitment to the safety and security of Israel, while yet remaining free to criticize the government of Israel in defense of our Palestinian (Christian and Muslim) brothers’ and sisters’ human and civil rights. No small task!

 Mid afternoon will find me joing the staff of our national church center in bidding a fond farewell to a retired African American bishop who has performed admirably in overseeing a transition process at our “ethnic desks.” Shepherding the seach processes with real skill, he has helped us call four wonderful staff persons for African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American ministries. This too is about unity — since racism continues to be a church (and nation) dividing issue!   

And tonight I shall attend a reception at our New York seminary for the Anglican bishop of the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. He has been selected to serve on the “Covenant Drafting Committee” for the Anglican Communion. We seek to assure him of the Episcopal Church’s desire and commitment to continue as a full and participating member of the Anglican Communion, even in the face of the potentially divisive issues of human sexuality.

Sometimes the issues of ecumenism and interfaith cooperation seem easier than issues dividing our own church! 

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