Ecumenical devotional to mark Reformation anniversary

By Gavin Drake
Posted Jun 15, 2016

[Anglican Communion News Service] A new daily devotional produced by Anglican and Lutheran church leaders will be published later this year to help Christians in the two communions commemorate together next year’s 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation.

Work on the book, Grace upon Grace: Voices around the World, was substantially completed during last month’s meeting of the Anglican – Lutheran International Coordinating Committee in Adelaide, Australia.

In a communiqué from the meeting, those engaged in the ecumenical dialogue say that the material, which will be available in hard copy and as a downloadable PDF file, “illustrates the constant need for all churches be open to reform and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

Over the course of six weeks, users of the daily devotional will consider themes of God’s mission in the world (Mission Dei), Liberated by God’s grace, Salvation – not for sale, Human beings – not for sale, Creation – not for sale, and Freed to serve (Diakonia).

Shortly after the Anglican – Lutheran International Coordinating Committee met, another ecumenical dialogue, the Anglican – Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council, gathered for their meeting in Ghent, Belgium.

The Church of England entered into full communion with the Old Catholic Churches in July 1931 under what is known as the Bonn Agreement. This has since been extended to all member churches of the Anglican Communion. In their communiqué, members of the ecumenical dialogue say that they had begun to “explore creatively” how to mark the centenary of the Bonn Agreement in 2031.

During their meeting, the ecumenical representatives looked at ways to “develop concrete proposals for the common mission of the Anglican and Old Catholic Churches on the European continent”; and were joined by Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, part of the U.S.-based Episcopal Church; Bishop Robert Innes, the Church of England’s Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe; and Archbishop Joris Vercammen of the Utrecht Union of Old Catholic Churches.