| "Live in harmony with one another." – Romans 12:16|
Dear partner in ministry,
On Oct. 31, 2016, we will make history. Lutherans and Catholics from around the world will come together for the anniversary of the Reformation. The Lutheran-Catholic commemoration will take place in Lund, Sweden, with a Common Prayer service led by Pope Francis, The Lutheran World Federation President Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan and its general secretary, the Rev. Dr. Martin Junge.
After 500 years, both Lutherans and Catholics share the joy for the positive elements of the Reformation, rejoicing together in the gospel and acknowledging that we are sent together as the body of Christ to serve the world. The joint commemoration witnesses to the reality that what unites us is more powerful than what divides us. This event is an opportunity to open doors to new possibilities, strengthen relationships, work together to promote peace, reconciliation and joint diaconal work around the world. As a sign of unity, Lutheran World Service and the Catholic agency, Caritas Internationalis, will commit to a Declaration of Intent, promising to work together in programs world-wide.
You can be a part of this exciting moment in history.
Our faith calls us to see the world as interdependent, and in preparation for this anniversary, we are given the opportunity to witness to God’s healing work toward reconciliation. At a time when violence and fragmentation seem to be the way, this joint commemoration offers something different. Dialogue is possible and produces good fruits: Conflict can be left behind, and the common hope we all have in Christ is celebrated. The transformative power of our shared faith can lead us to compassionate common service and joyful witness.
Thanks be to God,
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America