During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25), I will be giving thanks to God that this is Christ's church. Our unity is in Christ, who gathers us around word and water, bread and wine. Through Christ, we have been reconciled to God and to one another.
I give thanks to God that in my lifetime, we have witnessed and been a part of so many signs of greater unity in the body of Christ. My early memories are of defining ourselves as Lutherans in contrast to others. In Sunday school and confirmation, we would hear how we are not like Roman Catholics. Now even as we continue to address in dialogues these issues that separate us from experiencing our unity together at the Lord's table, we give thanks that we have as Lutherans and Roman Catholics a "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification."
I give thanks to God that in the formative years of the ELCA, we adopted "Ecumenism: The Vision of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America," and for 23 years have lived out those commitments to work for the visible unity of the body of Christ.
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