Archive for February, 2007

Pray For The Peace of Jerusalem

February 6, 2007

“That We All May Be One,” of course, also has interfaith implications. Not that we seek “one world religion,” but that we must honor one another, come to understand one another better, and cooperate where we can for the common good. Jews and Christians have made enormous strides since the horror of the Shoah, and yet often find our relationships strained these days around the intractable problems in the Holy Land, Israel and Palestine.

I had a difficult, but ultimately productive, meeting yesterday with leaders at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. This is the educational arm associated with the Museum of Tolerance, the New York Tolerance Center, and the Center for Human Dignity in Jerusalem. It puts the Holocaust in context with other instances of genocide, violence and terrorism in modern history and is very powerful.

How difficult it is to assure our Jewish sisters and brothers that we are absolutely committed to the existence and security of the state of Israel, that we decry any effort to deny the reality of the Shoah, that we stand against any and all forms of anti-Semitism and certainly violence against Jews — while yet standing with our Arab and Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters in seeking a two-state solution and a shared city of Jerusalem with access to the holy sites for any and all through the land we all call holy!

Difficult, but worth doing. For, it is the only way forward toward peace and justice for all!   


Christian Churches Together in the USA

February 4, 2007




Major New Initiative in Christian Unity to be Celebrated 

Wednesday, February 7, 2007, at 7:30 pm

Pasadena Presbyterian Church

585 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 


The leadership of thirty-six churches and national Christian organizations will gather at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, Pasadena, California, Wednesday, February 7, at 7:30 pm to celebrate the formation of
Churches Together in the
USA (CCT).  

Christian Churches Together began in 2001 out of a deeply felt need to broaden and expand fellowship, unity, and witness among the diverse expressions of Christian faith today. Over the past five years, with a focus on praying together and building relationships, CCT has become the broadest, most inclusive fellowship of Christian churches and traditions in the
USA, including Evangelical/Pentecostal, Orthodox, Catholic, historic Protestant and Racial/Ethnic churches among its participants.

As part of the celebration, the five CCT Presidents, Cardinal William Keeler, Archdiocese of Baltimore, Dr William Shaw, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., The Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, Orthodox Church in America, Bishop James Leggett, International Pentecostal Holiness Church, and The Rev. Larry Pickens, United Methodist Church, will speak on the significance of the CCT vision for faithful Christian witness. In the symbolic action of lighting candles, all CCT Participants will commit themselves “to grow closer together in Christ in order to strengthen our Christian witness in the world.”   

In cooperation with Fuller Seminary and the Southern California Ecumenical Council, CCT invites church leaders and pastors in the greater
Pasadena area to join in this celebration and to be present at the reception that follows.

More information on CCT is available on the web:   Additional information on the celebration is also available on the SCEC website at   

Workshop on Christian Unity

February 2, 2007

So, we just finished the 2007 National Workshop on Christian Unity in Arlington, Virginia. A few facts:

1. Nearly 400 participants, mainly Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and others

2. Opening Worship in Washington National Cathedral; preacher, an Armenian Orthodox Archbishop

3. Scores of Workshops on ecumenical dialogue, political advocacy, Christians in the Holy Land, many more…

4. Bible study by an African American, Baptist pastor who used to lobby on Capitol Hill…and still does

5. Roman Catholic, Lutheran-Episcopal-Methodist, and Churches Uniting in Christ Eucharists

6. Closing panel of Christian members of Congress, journalists, and pastors discussing the role of faith and politics

It was an amazing experience! Why not join us next year?

April 14-17 in Chicago!