The mission of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission is to meet everyone at the crossroads of faith, to provide resources for dialogue and understanding, and to fulfill God’s word to Jeremiah:

Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.

2012 Update to Convention & Recent Developments

As a Commission, we have met three times, with our fourth meeting scheduled on Aug. 25, 2012.  Thanks to Commission member, Cynthia Reynolds, we have a Facebook page for the Commission linked to the diocesan website.  It has provided many local and state Ecumenical and Interfaith educational events to the members of the diocese.

We were represented at the Diocesan Convention with an information table and handouts.  Several good conversations about our interfaith and ecumenical stance as a diocese ensued not only the attendees, but also the staff of the hotel.

At our January meeting, we updated our Vision and Mission Statement and the goals of the Commission. At our May meeting, Canon Neysa Ellgren met with us to hear about our work and our goals. We believe that we fit into the Diocesan Mission Plan in the fourth strategic Direction: “Strengthen, support and advocate for Gospel Justice” – specifically under #4:“Partner with ecumenical brothers and sisters to enhance the Church’s mission in the world.”

To that end, we began a study of the Full Communion between the Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church.  I wrote an article for the OECN on this communion, that will be printed in the Fall issue.  We looked at the “Make Us One with Christ” Study Guide put out by the Ecumenical and Interfaith s of the National Episcopal Church and the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns of the United Methodist Church.  We spent time looking at the “Theological Foundation for Full Communion between the Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church.”  This report details the common roots and affirmations between the two churches and the issues perceived as separating the churches.  Full communion was supposed to be decided at the 2012 General Conventions of both churches, but was postponed for further dialogue.

It was decided to offer a banner for best practices to one of the churches in the diocese each year at the Convention.  It will be displayed in that church for the year, then passed on to another church at next year’s convention.  At our meeting we will determine the criteria for being awarded the banner and publish that on the Facebook page and the website.

We added three members to our Commission – the Rev. Dennis Andersen, Pastor of St. James Lutheran Church in Portland, the Rev. Raggs Ragan, Canon Pastor at Trinity Cathedral, and the Rev. Laura Truby, pastor at Trinity Methodist Church in Portland.  This brings our Commission to a total of 10 members.

The work of our Commission branched out again this year as commission member, Lynn Hingson, became an Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO) Board Member; member David Mitchell serves on the Board of the Interfaith Council of Greater Portland and I have been given permission by Bishop Hanley to serve as the interim co-pastor of the Sherwood and Mountain Home United Methodist Churches until Dec. 1, 2012.

The current members of the EIC Commission are: the Rev. Dennis Andersen; the Rev. James Boston (member at large); the Rev. Dr. Carolynne Fairweather, Convener, Mr. Bill Gleason, Ms. Lynn Hingson, Dr. David Mitchell, the Rev. Raggs Ragan, Ms. Cynthia Reynolds, the Rev. Laura Truby and the Rev. Charlotte Wells.