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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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L.A. hosts historic baptism

The concept of one faith, one baptism took on new meaning in Los Angeles Nov. 19. Three individuals--one Lutheran, one Episcopalian and one Roman Catholic--were baptized from a common font before a congregation of nearly 700 during an historic joint baptism service at St. John's Episcopal Church.

Tanya Luchs, 26, of Hill Avenue Grace Lutheran Church, Pasadena; Cameron Harrington, 10, of St. Clare of Assisi Episcopal Church in Rancho Cucamonga; and John Joseph Cordova, a newborn whose parents attend St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Los Angeles, were each baptized by their respective pastors.

"This is an incredibly significant event in the life of the Christian church," said Anthony Auer, pastor of Hill Avenue Grace Lutheran Church. "I frankly can't recall another place anywhere where this has ever been done. And it says something wonderful about the Christian faith--that while there may be different languages and expressions, it is one faith, with one baptism."

These three denominational leaders presided at the service and participated in the baptisms with the anointing of the baptismal candidates: Bishop Paul Egertson, Southern California (West) Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Bishop Frederick Borsch of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles; and Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles.


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