February 1, 2017
Sunday evening, January 22, 2017, was a hallmark day in the Catholic Archdiocese of Mobile, AL and the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Jointly sponsored, Our Savior parish in Mobile hosted “From Conflict to Communion: 5 Ecumenical Imperatives.” The guest speakers for this dialogue were Dr Michael Root of the Catholic University of America (pictured far left) and Presiding Bishop Emeritus Mark Hanson of the ELCA (pictured far right.) They spoke separately, together, and fielded wonderful questions from an audience of about 130 , including Catholics from Mobile and Lutherans from across the Gulf Coast. The evening shifted its focus as everyone made way from the church hall to the church itself for a shared prayer service based on the service of Common Prayer produced specifically for occasions like this. Led by Catholic Archbishop Thomas Rodi (pictured right) and Southeastern Synod Bishop H. Julian Gordy (pictured left), the service featured Taize musical chants. The planning committee received many warm and wonderful comments of gratitude for the evening. It was a step—how many more steps we are willing and able to take remains to be seen, but walls of ignorance (thank the Lord, not of prejudice) were broken down, and we were truly able to live, “for one brief, shining moment” the joy of Jesus Christ as brothers and sisters. Similar events are being planned with the Southeastern ELCA Synod and the various Catholic dioceses in Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi, as well as Alabama.