One of my goals has been to build our relationships with our ecumenical partners in the NT-NL territory. This is complicated by a number of factors. These include the differences in geography between our synod’s territory and the relating diocese’s as well as theological and social commitments such as the inclusion of women in our church and openness to the gifts of LGBTQ people. These complications aside I have found the opportunity to connect with our ecumenical partners to be helpful and growing in fruitfulness.
One of the best ecumenical/interfaith events that takes place in the Dallas area each year is the interfaith seder meal hosted by the Dallas Jewish Community Relations Council. Prior to that our NT-NL staff took a couple hours away to fellowship together, eat, and then take on an “escape room” challenge. This team building experience placed us in a small room in which we had 60 minutes to solve challenges, open locks, and work together to solve the challenge. We finished with 6 minutes to spare and as such Pirate Blackbeard didn’t get to make us walk the plank. It was fun team building before the busyness of assembly planning really takes over.
Then I drove over to Dallas to meet with a pastor and then on the Congregation Shearith Israel for a meeting of Dallas Judicatory leaders and the 6th annual interfaith seder meal. Grateful to meet with CME, Disciples, Salvation Army, Roman Catholic, UMC, and PCUSA colleagues to talk about how we can stand with and for inclusion and cross boundaries of race and economy in our community.
The interfaith seder was again a powerful witness of unity in diversity. Hosted by the Dallas JCRC it included people of faith from the Abrahamic traditions and beyond. My Roman Catholic colleague Bishop Ed Burns was an MC and I was honored to give a reflection. A hopeful evening in the midst of challenging times. The hope of freedom from bondage and building community.
The growing relationship between myself, Bishop Burns, and other Dallas area judicatory leaders led many of us to be together again on Friday April 6th for the kickoff of the #BeGolden campaign. This campaign, spearheaded by the Catholic Diocese of Dallas but involving leaders of many faith traditions is encouraging our communities to commit to the “golden rule” in our relationships with each other and particularly our immigrant communities. To recognize the humanity in each other and the common desire for a better life for our families. You can learn more about it here.
On Monday, April 9th. The Dallas Skyline was lit up Gold in support of this campaign. Once more, we come together as people of faith, despite our differences, and emphasis our common humanity and hope for peace, justice, and mercy to reign in our work. #NTNL #StaffDevelopment #JCRC #Interfaith #Ecumenism #InMissionTogether #BeGolden