[From Maria Tjeltveit]
One of the privileges and joys of my ministry has been serving on the Moravian-Episcopal Dialogue for our national Church, which drafted the full communion proposal for our two Churches. So I am delighted to invite you to join in the celebration service inaugurating our full communion relationship on Thursday, February 10, at 6:00 p.m. at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem. Our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori will be the celebrant, joined by the heads of the Provincial Elders’ Conference of the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church in America.
It’s not often that a historical event happens right here in our back yard. And even though it’s a service for the whole of both our denominations, having a midweek service in February may reduce the number of people who come from a great distance. So that means that we who are local are encouraged to come and bring our friends. It will be great to celebrate this service right in the heart of the Moravian Church and in our diocese.
What is full communion? It is a way for denominations to come together without merging; acknowledging the fullness of the church in each other, working together for mission and ministry, and exchanging clergy. We have been in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for 10 years, and the Lutherans and Moravians are also in full communion, so this kind of completes a triangle of full communion relationships. Especially in our area, where there are plenty of Lutherans and Moravians, it will be good to see how we can live into full communion in substantial way.
I hope you will join me on February 10 for this celebration.
Maria Tjeltveit, Canon for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations