My Associate and I are currently involved in teaching an online course, “Ecumenism 101”, in cooperation with the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Our students are primarily Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers (EDEIO), a few parish priests, and other interested persons.
So often, when a lay person or cleric is asked by his or her bishop to become the diocesan ecumenical officer, they are willing but feel the need for further training and learning background in the field. This course, funded by a generous grant from the Constable Fund of The Episcopal Church, covers history and the development of the ecumenical movement, explores the various bilateral and multilateral dialogues of which we are a part, and concludes with at least a brief introduction to interreligious (interfaith) dialogue, since this often comes with the territory these days, even though the goals are quite different.
We will conclude the course with one day face-to-face meetings in Berkeley and Chicago to sum things up and make plans for the future.
We are very excited about this development and hope that it will be a pilot project and the first of a series of offerings for the wider Church. Future courses may end up costing the participants a bit more because we can’t rely on grants everytime. Nonetheless, it may be a way to assist in continuing education and ongoing formation for “ecu-maniacs” like me across the Church!