6/28/2016 5:10:00 PM

CHICAGO – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) joined Christians from around the world in offering prayers as the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Christian Church convened on the island of Crete June 20-25. It was attended by 220 Orthodox bishops and archbishops, as well as 70 official advisers. According to the council’s website (orthodoxcouncil.org), the last time such a council was convened was 1200 years ago – predating the Reformation by 700 years.

The Rev. Donald McCoid, former assistant to the ELCA presiding bishop and executive for ecumenical and inter-religious relations, was invited to represent The Lutheran World Federation at the meeting. McCoid, who served as co-chair of the U.S. Lutheran-Orthodox dialogue and the Lutheran World Federation-Orthodox dialogue from 1995 to 2012, described the opening session which convened on the Monday of Pentecost:

“When the opening session began with the patriarchs, metropolitans and other official representatives invoking the Holy Spirit with the Pentecost chant, I was deeply moved,” said McCoid. “After so many years of planning and an uncertainty about when a council might happen, it was finally here. The strong image of the Orthodox Church in council is one that should inspire all Christians. Let us remember Orthodox leaders and members in our prayers so that God’s will and way may unfold in all ways.”

For more on this article visit ELCA.org

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