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November 18, 2019

Day of Dialogue Addresses Hope in Midst of Division

Responding to division is society and in the Christian Church, the annual LARC Day of Dialogue brought together clergy and parishioners of local Christian traditions for prayer and discussion.

The annual event is a joint effort of the Lutheran, Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in central Pennsylvania for prayer and greater cooperation between the Churches. Titled “Division on Society, Division in the Church: Healing and Hope for the 21st Century,” the gathering was Oct. 28 at the Diocesan Center in Harrisburg.

The Day of Dialogue featured three speakers, prayer in the three Christian traditions and a panel discussion. It is hosted annually by the Diocesan Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, directed by Father James Lease.

Dr. Maria Erling, a Professor of Modern Church History and Global Mission at the United Lutheran Seminary, spoke on what ecumenism holds today. The Very Rev. Dr. Amy Doyle Welin, Dean of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in Harrisburg, addressed pastoral theological Christian unity. The third speaker was Eric Failing, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, who spoke on reshaping debate to achieve wisdom.

Rev. Barbara Collins, Bishop of the Upper Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, engages an attendee. The Day of Dialogue included prayers of the Lutheran, Anglican and Catholic traditions.
Rev. Barbara Collins, Bishop of the Upper Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, engages an attendee. The Day of Dialogue included prayers of the Lutheran, Anglican and Catholic traditions.

The event is an extension of the LARC Covenant, signed in 1993 by the Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, the Lower and Upper Susquehanna Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg. Its aim is to bring clergy and laity together to work in the cause of Christian unity.

For information about ecumenical and interreligious activities in the Diocese, visit www.hbgdiocese.org/about/diocesan-offices/ecumenical/ or contact Father Lease at frjlease@hbgdiocese.org.

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

Eric Failing, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, presents a reflection, “Approaching Adversaries with Love: Reshaping Debate to Achieve Wisdom, Not Wins.”
Eric Failing, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, presents a reflection, “Approaching Adversaries with Love: Reshaping Debate to Achieve Wisdom, Not Wins.”
Angelé Mbassi, Coordinator of the Diocese’s Black Catholic Apostolate, talks to a fellow attendee of the Day of the Dialogue.
Angelé Mbassi, Coordinator of the Diocese’s Black Catholic Apostolate, talks to a fellow attendee of the Day of the Dialogue.
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