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2013 Session 2

Our Common Baptism: Rites of Initiation and Catechesis

The Rev. Beverly R. Piro, ELCA

There has been remarkable convergence among Christians regarding the role of baptism – both theologically and in practice. This seminar explored the ecumenical significance of our rites of initiation into the Christian community, with a special emphasis on the recovery of the formative process of the catechumenate. Learn about current trends and developments in the catechumenate ministry of various Christian denominations. Presenters are active members of the North American Association for the Catechumenate.

2013 Seminar 3

Mary in Ecumenical Perspective

The Rev. Dr. Maxwell Johnson, ELCA

The last several years have brought numerous dialogues, documents and discussions about the significance of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the churches. Roman Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans and others have done fruitful work. With us to lead a seminar on Mary in Ecumenical Perspective was The Rev. Dr. Maxwell Johnson, professor of Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Johnson has published widely, including papers and book chapters on Mary.

2013 Seminar 4

The Road to Busan: WCC 10th World Assembly 2013

The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, UCC
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, UMC

This seminar provided information about the preparation and participation of US denominations in the upcoming Assembly. There will be discussion of the theme: “God of life, lead us to justice and peace” and sharing of documents that are relevant to the life of the Church and the ecumenical movement. How can we best be prepared to participate? How can we “bring back” the work of the Assembly to the various settings of the church?

2013 Seminar 5

Religious Liberty: Starting Points for the Conversation

The Rev. Dr. James Childs, ELCA, Trinity Lutheran Seminary
The Rev. Dr. John Crossin, OSFS, RCC
Dr. Yvonne Zimmerman, Mennonite, Methodist Theological School in Ohio

This seminar offered an explanation of religious liberty as understood and interpreted by their respective Christian traditions as well as implications.

2013 Seminar 6

Abrahamic Traditions: Tri-Faith Initiative

  • Dr. Syed M. Mohiuddin, President of the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture, and Head of Medicine at Creighton University
  •  The Rev. Canon Timothy Anderson, from the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska
  •  Rabbi Jon Meyers, from Temple Israel

The Tri-Faith Initiative is a remarkable joining of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Omaha, NE. The three faiths share a plot of land, some common spaces, a coordinating council, and leadership. Led by an Episcopal priest, a Rabbi and Imam, the three faith communities seek to go where “no one has gone before,” worshipping and serving the God of Abraham. This seminar will explore the life and ministry of the Tri-Faith initiative. Members of the three communities were present to lead the conversation.

2013 Seminar 7

Creating Communities of Respect

The Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan, CC(DC), National Association of Ecumenical and Interreligious Staff

“Tolerance” is a word that has no place in our faith vocabulary. Tolerance means, “Since I am such a nice person (just a minute while I pat myself of the back) I suppose I can tolerate (put up with) you. As people of faith, we reflect a respectful attitude whether we are in an ecumenical setting, dealing with interfaith relations or being a faith-full witness for justice among all God’s people. How do we live out a respectful attitude in local/regional ecumenical and interreligious settings and thus, lead by example, modeling civil discourse?

2013 Seminar 8

Campus “Oval” Dynamics: Responding to Bias Language

Panel of students and leaders from The Ohio State University

Case study: Campuses/universities often have a public space, where the First Amendment applies. So, anyone can speak in this space. What often happens is that students pass through the area, and are confronted by bias and accusatory language. How might religious leaders respond? What do students want from religious leaders? What is the intersection between faith/gender and one’s rights.

2013 Seminar 9

What Does the Lord Require of Us?

Bishop C. Joseph Sprague, UMC, Moderator of a panel

Challenging religious and gang culture in prisons through interfaith communities and restorative justice. The Horizon Program is one of the most innovative and transformative prison programs. It brings prison residents from many religious perspectives in a 10-month experience of recovering their sense of self, others, faith and purpose.

2013 Closing Address

The Closing Address was delivered by Ms. Kathyrn Lohre, director of ecumenical and inter-religious relations for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. a. She is currently serving as president of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, as the first Lutheran and the youngest woman. Previously she served as assistant director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University, a premier research project on religious diversity in the United States. Her address was titled: Seeing Beyond the Future: The Challenge of Identifying Today’s Ecumenical Opportunities. Following her address the 49th Annual National Workshop partook of their closing luncheon before returning to their places of ministry. and service.