5/18/2016 2:45:00 PM

CHICAGO (ELCA) – Members from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), joined their colleagues from The Episcopal Church for a meeting of the Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee in Marriottsville, Md., May 9-11. The committee is charged with encouraging and assisting efforts between the ELCA and The Episcopal Church as the two denominations live into their full communion relationship as described in “Called to Common Mission,” the 1999 document that describes this relationship.

ELCA committee members include the Rev. Donald P. Kreiss, bishop of the ELCA Southeast Michigan Synod and Lutheran co-chair of the committee; the Rev. Claire S. Burkat, bishop of the ELCA Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod; the Rev. Lowell G. Almen, former ELCA secretary; Kathryn L. Johnson, ELCA director for ecumenical and inter-religious relations; Dr. Mitze M. Budde, Virginia Theological Seminary; and the Rev. Natalie Hall, pastor in residence at First English Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh.

“The ELCA is enriched by all of its full communion relationships, and the gifts are enhanced because each of these relationships has its own distinctiveness,” said Johnson. “Thus it has been very important to have a coordinating committee for each relationship whose task is to help the partners live into the implications of being in full communion. These committees celebrate and correlate common work on all levels of the life of our churches and encourage us to go further in shared ministry and mission.”

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