Skip to comments.Lutherans' Ecumenical Journey Highlighted by Unexpected Moments
Posted on 09/30/2010 6:33:05 PM PDT by lightman
ELCA NEWS SERVICE September 30, 2010
Lutherans' Ecumenical Journey Highlighted by Unexpected Moments 10-256-JB
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Two Lutherans retracing Martin Luther's 1510 journey from Erfurt, Germany, to Rome report that "unexpected company or hospitality" from people they've met are among the best moments they've experienced so far. The Rev. Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson and her husband, Dr. Andrew Lars Wilson, left Erfurt on foot Aug. 22 and are now in Italy.
Luther was an Augustinian friar who created controversy with his 95 Theses. Luther's statement, which he nailed to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517, raised questions about indulgences in the Western Church. What followed was the period known as the Protestant Reformation.
Doing their best to stay true to Luther's original route, the Wilsons' journey has taken them through parts of Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Italy.
They post daily updates, photos and essays about ecumenism and Reformation history at http://www.hereiwalk.org on the Web. More than 700 people are following the Wilson's journey on Facebook, and more than 80 are following their Twitter updates.
A key purpose of the journey is to call attention to ecumenism, said Sarah Wilson, research professor at the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France. In a piece she wrote for The Wall Street Journal prior to leaving, Wilson commented that during the pilgrimage she hoped "the controversial figure of Martin Luther and the current relationship between the Catholic and Lutheran churches will appear in a new light."
Wilson is also a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and editor of Lutheran Forum.
She told the ELCA News Service that many people have helped them along the way. "One Sunday we didn't have anywhere to stay and all the hotels were booked because of a concert series, so we asked for help at church," she said. "A local couple took us in and we had a great time with them, including a mini Bach concert and a genuine Bavarian Brotzeit supper."
A fellow American read her commentary in the Wall Street Journal and hiked with them for a day. In Chiavenna, Italy, the Wilsons stayed with a devout Catholic family "that not only knew of Martin Luther but loved him," she said.
"Others have just seen us walking by and invited us for a cup of coffee," Wilson said. "At first it was difficult to ask for help when we needed it, and to get used to accepting hospitality when it was offered spontaneously. We found ourselves blessed time and time again."
The Wilsons experienced cold and rainy weather during much of the first month of their journey, Wilson said.
People they've talked with along the way are very positive about ecumenism, she said. "Quite a number have expressed the conviction that Catholics and Lutherans believe essentially the same things and there should be no trouble in fellowship between them," Wilson said. "In general we have found that in Europe ecumenism is closely tied to the question of peace. In the U.S. it has more to do with market competition. That makes for very different perceptions of the ecumenical movement on either side of the Atlantic."
Wilson added that people "seem to be hungry for a deeper understanding of the ecumenical movement" and respond positively to learning more about it.
The Wilsons have made many adjustments from the route they originally planned, thanks to some people they've met who offered maps and suggestions about Luther's probable route, Wilson said. They had to adjust their plans when a snowstorm hit as they crossed the Alps in Switzerland, she said. Some people helped them avoid a wrong turn toward an unfinished mountain path and offering them a ride by car. The Wilsons took a bus the next two days, she said.
After the Wilsons complete their journey in late October, they plan to visit three ELCA colleges and universities in the United States to speak about their ecumenical pilgrimage. They will visit Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Nov. 10-11, for the college's Founders' Day lectures; Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, N.C., Nov. 14-17 as Theologians in Residence; and visit Roanoke (Va.) College's Center for Religion and Society on Nov. 18.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Good reading in this 480th anniversary year of the Confession of Augsburg.
Be rooted in Christ!
ELCA, ELCA, ELCA!
What a crock!!!!!
I recently drove by a church advertising themselves as Lutheran.
But nowhere could I find their synod or denomination.
I got on the computer and quickly found out that they were ELCA.
LCMS and WELS proudly display their affiliation but ELCA hides theirs.
ELCA is not Lutheran. They are lutheran. They worship Satan.
Quite a number have expressed the conviction that Catholics and Lutherans believe essentially the same things
Only that little thing about forensic justification, by faith alone.
61. Why sayest thou, that you art righteous by faith only?
Not that I am acceptable to God on account of the worthiness of my faith, but because only the satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ is my righteousness before God and I can receive the same and make it my own in no other way than by faith only.
If by that you mean "The Rev." Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, that title alone disqualifies her from being orthodox.
With all due respect, that comment is precisely why there has not been a great exodus of confessional Lutheran clergy or congregations from the ELCA to the LCMS.
Increased numbers in the Missouri Synod would be great, but not at the cost of permitting women clergy, which is a symptom of the deeper problem of an unacceptable view of the inspiration and authority of Holy Scripture (see tagline below). It's the same old liberalism, just not as far out as allowing homosexual clergy.
Depends on the premise used for justifying the Ordination of women.
In the predecessor bodies to the ELCA the premise was “justice” and that was just plain wrong (based on seventies secular women’s liberation ideology) and something which should be repented of.
There is a strand of scholarship—albeit, a minority—which holds that the Gospel and letters of John serve as correctives and counterbalances to some of the Pauline epistles by portraying women in positions of ecclesial leadership; which is also strongly inferred in the beginning and conclusion of Romans.
Is that a strong case? Maybe, maybe not. But it is certainly better than one argued on the basis of “justice”!!
As for the slippery slope; let’s roll it back farther, to the acceptance of remarriage after divorce for both laity and clergy; back a bit farther to the acceptance of abortion on demand for laity and clergy, and back farther still to the acceptance of artificial contraception.
Once Lutherans began to accept and practice sex without consequences the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly was a foregone conclusion.
From my experience with those groups leaving the ELCA, they tend to be socially conservative but theologically liberal. Homosexuality is not socially acceptable for many in the ELCA, especially the Midwest, but when you talk with the clergy and laity of these break away groups, they are not confessional Lutherans. Their views on Scripture, the Sacraments, Women’s ordination, open Communion, and the office of the Holy Ministry are in direct opposition to confessional Lutheranism. After decades of false doctrine and lack of proper catechetical instruction, these groups are neither fish nor fowl when it comes to Lutheran theology and practice. I would term them Luthernish, but not really Lutheran.