The Hope of Eternal Life - Common Statement of the Eleventh Round of the U.S. Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue
Edited by Lowell G. Almen and Richard J. Sklba
6" x 9"
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Mail: Lutheran University Press
PO Box 390759
Minneapolis, MN 55439
Our churches affirm that death cannot destroy the communion with God of those redeemed and justified. The nature of the life that the justified departed share with God cannot be described in great detail and, in this life, it remains a great mystery. Nevertheless, Catholics and Lutherans share the sure and certain hope that the justified departed are “in Christ” and enjoy the rest that belongs to those who have run the race.
The agreements emerging in Round XI of the U.S. Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue contribute to the ongoing ecumenical journey. The foundation for the discussions and findings of Round XI was established by the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.” That declaration was received officially by the Catholic Church and member churches of the Lutheran World Federation on October 31, 1999. Further, the statement of Round XI builds on the findings of the previous ten rounds of the U.S. Lutheran–Catholic Dialogue.
This common statement of Round XI offers fresh insights into some issues that proved contentious in the debates of the sixteenth century. Among the issues explored in this dialogue were continuity in the communion of saints, prayers for or about the dead, the meaning of death, purgation, an interim state between death and the final general judgment, and the promise of resurrection. Agreements are affirmed on the basis of new insights, as readers will discover in this statement of Round XI.
War Study Guide
The guide, "Christian Understanding of War in an Age of Terror(ism)
," is based on a paper developed for the 2011 Ecumenical Centennial Gathering of the National Council of Churches and Church World Service held in November in New Orleans. The introduction to the study guide stresses the need for churches to continue the conversation about war and a just peace.
Windows for Understanding
We reside as Lutheran Christians in a rich pluralistic world where people maintain sometimes conflicting opinions, moral standards, social perspectives, political allegiances, and religious fidelities. When the world encounters times of immense change, it affects our self-understanding: “Given such diversity, what does it mean to be Lutheran?” Windows for Understanding: Jewish-Muslim-Lutheran Relations
– offers opportunities to learn and become more informed. You are invited to explore Windows
and grow in your faith. We encourage you to send us your comments and suggestions by filling out the Evaluation Form on back of Windows
Your Guide to Inter-Religious Life in the ELCA
This guide was developed to help you and your congregation gain a hands-on appreciation of inter-religious relations in the life of the church.
NEW – Download "Your Guide to Inter-Religious Life in the ELCA"
Your Guide to Ecumenical Life in the ELCA
This guide was developed to help you and your congregation gain a hands-on understanding of ecumenism in the life of the church.
NEW – Download "Your Guide to Ecumenical Life in the ELCA"
Christian-Muslim Talking Points
The Christian-Muslim Talking Points
resource is a set of eight leaflets to set forth opportunities for discussion around issues in Christian-Muslim Relations. These Talking Points are intended to stimulate reflection, response, and activity on key issues as part of ongoing inter-religious engagement today. Each leaflet addresses a particular topic and concludes with several questions for further discussion. These Talking Points raise real questions that might otherwise go unaddressed.
What has been learned from forty years of Jewish-Christian dialogue? This DVD
contains nine interviews on various aspects of that topic. The conversations explore the implications of recent studies and dialogues for Christians today. They can be used on their own, or they can be used to introduce the chapters found in Covenantal Conversations: Christians in Dialogue with Jews and Judaism
, edited by Darrell Jodock (Fortress, 2008). A study guide for that book can be downloaded at no cost from the Fortress website as well. Together, this DVD
, the book
, and the study guide provide the materials needed for a nine-session study examining Jewish-Christian relations. (Download a synopsis of the DVD
Building Bridges in the Body of Christ
A new resource that can be used in bulletins to assist in the education of parishioners regarding our five communion partners and one interim eucharistic sharing partner.
All inserts are available in both color and black-and-white formats. You are welcome and encouraged to download one or all of the bulletin inserts free of charge, and then make as many copies as you need. We do ask, however, that you only make copies from the original downloaded document in order to preserve the print quality of the insert.
Although there are a variety of ways to utilize this resource, one way is to print your tradition on one side of the insert and the tradition you are learning about on the other. This method will allow for the reader to compare the differences and similarities in the two denominations.
Interfaith Relations & the Church: A study guide for key issues
The Interfaith Relations Commission
of the National Council of Churches
has issued a series of theological resources to guide clergy and laity through the basic issues of engagement with other faiths. Each of the five booklets can be downloaded for individual study or duplicated for study groups. The five topics covered are:
- The Missional Challenge: In a world of many faiths, what might our participation in God’s mission look like, and how can we faithfully pursue it?
- The Moral Challenge: There are two moral questions. First, how do we apply a moral test to Christian witness with people of other faiths? Second, how do we assess the actions of all religious persons and religions?
- The Theological Challenge: Presents a range of Christian perspectives on the role played by other faiths in God’s work in order to help us think theologically about interfaith relations.
- The Ecumenical Challenge: Christian unity and interfaith relations may at times stand in real tension.
- The Identity Challenge: Encounters with those who are different from us offer the opportunity to contemplate our own faith more deeply and embody it more clearly.
The 12-page brochures include brief, incisive essays, prayers, and study questions.
Understanding the Roman Catholic Church – 2006
In the U.S. 65 million Roman Catholics are organized into 200 archdioceses and dioceses and more than 19,000 local Catholic parishes. Each year over one million infants and 70,000 adults are baptized in U.S. Roman Catholic churches. Yet for all its great size, influence and long history, many non-Roman Catholics understand very little about the largest Christian denomination.
The 35-minute program is organized into three parts: Roman Catholic beliefs, Church history, Catholic Renewal. The program includes interviews with Roman Catholic theologians, scholars, pastors and lay people. Portions of this program were recorded in Rome, Assisi, Trent and Casino, Italy. Click here to order!
Muslim Americans and the Quest for a More Perfect Union
Telling the story of Muslims in America is more important than ever. “Muslim Americans and the Quest for a More Perfect Union
” tells that story. This video, which is part of the Young Muslim American Voices project of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress
, captures the history and diversity of Muslim-American communities, highlights their participation in civic life, and looks toward a future where celebrating the worth and religious liberty of every American is made real in everyday life.
Understanding Islam – Summer 2003 MOSAIC
What do Muslims believe? Who was the Prophet Mohammed? How does Islam relate to the Christian faith? This DVD helps members of your congregation understanding of Islam. Islam is among the world's fastest-growing religions. Since September 11, interest in Islam and the growing number of Muslim neighbors in the United States has skyrocketed. Click here to order!
A Glimpse at the Spirit of Islam – a video resource
Before September 11, 2001, most Americans had trouble getting motivated to learn about Islam. In the aftermath many people were compelled to ask questions about this religion and its followers. This video is designed to give an accurate glimpse at the spirit of Islam in two half-hour sessions.
Session one covers Islamic practices, history and some hopes and fears common to many Muslims. Session two turns to core Islamic beliefs and notes principal differences and similarities with Christianity. The goal is to help Christians move beyond stereotypes and toward loving Muslims in a Christ-like way.
Confessing Our Faith Together: Study and Discussion Guide
This new joint ELCA-UMC study and discussion guide is designed for congregations and other ministry contexts. Lutherans and United Methodists are encouraged to download the "guide" in order to learn more about one another in this period of Interim Eucharistic Sharing between the two denominations. This study process considers seriously the possibilities of full communion at this time. Download the study guide.
Building a Relationship: Best Practices, A Booklet for Starting Grass-Roots Conversation
This new joint ELCA-UMC best practices booklet is meant to launch you, and accompany you, while you ask both the “how” and “why” questions. The booklet moves to specific examples of members of the ELCA and UMC doing ecumenical work, and delineates best practices of building ecumenical relationships for the reader to apply. Grass roots ecumenism is born from this curiosity, this prodding to find the familiar in the midst of difference. As members of the UMC and the ELCA, and people interested in nurturing this new relationship between our churches, you are invited to do some prodding of your own. Download this booklet
"Ecumenism and the ELCA" Presentation
Where are the advancements today in the search for Christian unity in the ELCA and in the world? How can your church and other ministry/educational contexts learn and enhance your ecumenical engagement? Where does the Lutheran World Federation feed the poor in the world? How does ecumenical life in the ELCA heal brokenness and division? Download and view this presentation (for Windows) for free and discover answers to these questions and more. Right-click to download the PowerPoint presentation and script without audio (around 1.5M each) Order this resource from the ELCA Distribution Center: Phone 1-800-638-3522, ext. 2580 or online at www.elca.org/resources.
Ecumenical Conversation Starters
Ecumenical formation takes place in numerous informal and formal contexts. It takes place in our churches, colleges, universities, seminaries, and other educational/ministry contexts. A new informal resource advised and constructed by seminarians in the ELCA is titled Ecumenical Conversation Starters.
Walk with these seminarians through the search for Christian Unity as they reflect upon numerous written contributions about Christian Unity from leaders throughout the ELCA. Ecumenical Conversation Starters is an informal way of fostering conversation about Christian Unity in the Church. You may be surprised to discover ways in which this resource can also be of benefit to your community of ministry and learning.
Talking Points Series
The ELCA Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations is developing a series of Talking Points, sets of reflections and discussion questions on various topics designed to stimulate conversation as part of an ongoing study process within the church. Ideal for use by an adult forum within a congregation or community. You can download the resource or order it from the ELCA Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations by e-mail or phone; 800-638-3522 ext. 2612.
Talking Points: Topics in Christian-Muslim Relations – Includeds the Bible and the Qur’an, Jesus and Muhammad in the Qur’an, Law in Islam, Women in Islam, Forgiveness and Salvation, Caring for Creation, Practicing Hospitality, Finding Friendship and Believing in God.
Talking Points: The Amazing Gift of Your Baptism – Includes reflections on “Baptism and...” nine topics, each presented from the viewpoint of a member in a different denomination. " I think after this study, this group would be willing to move the [Baptismal] font out of the corner to a central place in worship! Imagine that!" – Evaluation comment.
Talking Points: Topics in Christian-Jewish Relations – A set of eight leaflets that set forth propositions for discussion and debate on theological issues in Christian-Jewish relations.
A new resource from the NCC's Education and Leadership Ministries Commission, is designed to inspire Christian families to honor and prayerfully support families of all shapes and sizes. It may be used by individual families or by congregations as content for family or intergenerational events. The components may be used together or at separate times to nurture integrity within individual families and a strong sense of community. Click here to read more/download.
A Time for Burning
A discussion guide on "A Time for Burning" was created by the Conference for Inclusive Communities in recognition of the film's 40th anniversary. Directed by William C. Jersey, "A Time for Burning" is a 1967 Academy award winning documentary that takes place at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. It explores the attempts of the minister of Augustana Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska, to persuade his all-white congregation to reach out to African-American Lutherans. Purchase the movie and download the Discussion Guide.
Peace Not Walls
The NEW DVD, “Peace Not Walls: Making a Difference in the Holy Land,” offers a dynamic introduction to the ELCA inter-religious work and the Peace Not Walls campaign dedicated to peace with justice in Israel-Palestine.
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Ecumenical Worship Guidelines and Resources
Ecumenical News Releases
- Articles from The Lutheran related to ecumenical topics
- News Releases from the ELCA Department for Communication - search for "ecumenical" or other specific topics.