Ecumenicism and Interfaith Relations

Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission

Ecumenical

Episcopal and Lutheran bishops and clergy gathered at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Manhattan for the annual William Reed Huntington Sermon celebrating ecumenicism.

The Diocese of New York Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission consists of seven Committees which interface with representatives appointed by dialogue partners of other Christian Communions and Jewish and Muslim groups.  The goals are to increase mutual understanding, study international and national dialogue papers and proposals, make recommendations to the Bishop of New York on proposals such as the 2001 Called to Common Mission, which established full Communion between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or interim shared Eucharist agreements, such as the 2006 one between the Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church.  We have found that building personal friendships by means of these conversations leads to deepening trust between people of differing religious traditions.
 
The Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue of New York (ARCNY) is chaired by the Rev'd Dr. Victor Austin; the Lutheran-Episcopal Dialogue (LEDNY) is chaired by the Rev'd Dr. Paul B. Clayton, Jr.  These two Committees are currently meeting together and with the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue of New York in a three-way conversation we call LARCNY, discussing the WCC Faith and Order document The Nature and Mission of the Church, which follows on Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry.
 
The Eastern Churches Committee, chaired by the Rev'd Warren Haynes, builds deepending relationships with various Eastern Orthodox Churches in the New York area.  This Committee sponsored a trip by Bishop and Mrs. Sisk, Archdeacon Kendall, General Seminary Professor and ecumenist J. Robert Wright, the Rev. Dr. Paul B. Clayton, Jr., and the Rev. Sharon C. Clayton to visit the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in May of 2006.  We hope to open a dialogue with the Greek Orthodox on the recent international Anglican-Orthodox agreement The Church of the Triune God.
 
The Episcopal-United Methodist Committee (EUMNY) is a new one, chaired by the Rev'd Astrid Storm, being organized in the fall and winter of 2008 to meet with representatives of the New York United Methodist Conference to establish local guidelines to implement the 2006 interim shared Eucharists agreement made by the General Convention.  This will be followed by careful study of the extensive papers produced by the national dialogue leading up to this agreement and the agreement between the Church of England and the British Methodist Church.
 
The Council of Churches Committee involves the Archdeacon of the Diocese of New York in representing the diocese on the Council of Churches of New York City and New York State, and also works with other religious leaders on projects of social justice.
 
The Jewish-Christian Committee, chaired by the Rev'd Dr. Bruce Chilton, and the Episcopal-Muslim Relations Committee, chaired by the Rev'd Masud Ibn Syedullah, sponsor programs on a local and parish basis of education on these two religious traditions and members of both are frequently involved in national and international meetings fostering better understanding and relationships with various Jewish and Muslim communities.

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