Sisters and Brothers,
As you may know, I was away last week attending a meeting of bishops, clergy and laity. The gathering was for those who, like us, claim an Old Catholic heritage. The gathering was productive. Most of us came away with a renewed sense of community and a stronger desire to build relations.
Our communion was very well represented. Bishop Rafe and Bishop Francis both offered presentations on Old Catholicism and Bishop Denise was the celebrant and preacher for one of the services. I was asked to preach and con-celebrate on Sunday. It was an honor to represent you all and I shared greetings on your behalf.
Earlier in the week these same bishops participated in a gathering of Bishops from 6 other church bodies. Bishop Rafe and Bishop Francis both shared that they felt those meetings went very well -perhaps better than could reasonably be expected. They said that the representatives from the Episcopal Church were also pleased and promised to share this good news with the Old Catholics and with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. They plan to gather again next year.
Last night, Bishop Francis signed a formal agreement with the ELCA Bishop in Denver Colorado that allows our sister communities to participate fully with the ELCA communities in that local Synod. While this is not full communion it is a huge step and is something we hope to replicated in other places.
As we prepare to celebrate All Saints and Souls this Sunday, let's remember our shared commonalities - the blessed ones who have dedicated their lives in building up the reign of God. Many of these important women and men are recognized and honored by all of our shared jurisdictions and communions. Let's seek their prayers and assistance as we continue up God's kingdom here in this place.
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