The service on Sunday November 5th brought together leaders of the Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Bishop Denis Madden, former chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference committee on ecumenical and interreligious affairs, led the congregation in prayers of repentance and thanksgiving for the “rich history and unique contributions of diverse Christian traditions”.
Inclusion, not division
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America preached on the Beatitudes, noting that they mark Jesus’ inaugural address, as he “sets forth his program for what the reign of God is going to look like”.
After 500 years, she said, we witness to the truth that inclusion, not division, is the will of God. The Beatitudes, she said, remind us of God’s “improbable message of promise that we are a reconciled creation”.
Reflecting on the latest mass shooting at a Baptist Church in Texas, Bishop Eaton also prayed for healing for that community and for the whole nation.