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Setting precedents
One church in Oklahoma has an Episcopal priest serving a Lutheran congregation, but Trinity will be one of the few churches with a Lutheran minister on staff. An African-American serving in a predominantly white parish is even more unusual, and is the first black member of the clergy to serve at Trinity.
Called to Common Mission
Lutherans and Episcopalians agree that nothing divides them theologically. Both churches were born out of the 16th-century Reformation -- one in England and the other in Germany. Episcopalians and Lutherans have much in common, notably patterns of worship and liturgy.
Growing in service
Just one year ago in Jackson, Miss., a nonprofit organization was reincarnated from successful Lutheran and Episcopal servant-ministry initiatives. Nine months later, Lutheran Episcopal Services in Mississippi exploded into service as one of the state’s leading disaster-response agencies.
Hurricanes, housing and the Holocaust
Through readings, music and prayer, the service recalled the “Night of Broken Glass” in 1938, when mobs and Nazi storm troopers began their assault on the Jews of Germany and Austria. Service participants gathered “to remember that which must never be repeated,” hallowing the memories of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
Redesigned church website
The extensive changes are the result of collaborations with church communicators, church executives, clergy and lay leaders, members of religious orders, visual artists and youth and young adults, plus the results of more than 1,500 responses to two questionnaires to web users.
Equality in leadership
Cultural contexts continue to challenge women’s efforts to join equally in church leadership, Phoebe Griswold said after returning from meetings with women during a two-week trip to Asia.
Victims not forgotten
“Episcopalians have once again responded with generous hearts, and we look forward to continuing our work with the dioceses of Louisiana and Mississippi as people journey back from the heartbreak and nightmare of a devastating hurricane season,” said Harry B. Bainbridge, bishop of Idaho diocese and chair of the ERD board.
Calling for unity
The Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches must address issues of common concern with a united voice to meet the expectations of people in a world of uncertainties and tensions, WCC Central Committee Moderator Catholicos Aram I said at a consultation in November on the role of a consultative group between the two bodies.
Evangelism parties
An incarnation of several Protestant denominations, COTA community began in a coffee shop and has since grown to include home church groups, theology pubs and other inclusive forms of worship.  The ministry is based on welcoming and engaging seekers of all ages who have felt excluded from more familiar mainline Protestant practices.  COTA “shares a spiritual kinship with all those who affirm the most ancient Christian confession ‘Jesus is Lord’” and is part of the Anglican and Lutheran “tribes.”
Bridge building and maintenance
Margaret Larom, director of Anglican and Global Relations at the Episcopal Church Center, New York, was part of the center’s delegation, including Presiding Bishop Frank T.Griswold and his wife Phoebe, that traveled to Asia and met with Anglican leaders there in October.
Since you asked...
The Rev. William Gartig, a priest in the Diocese of Southern Ohio, responds:
Fanfare no fantasy
More than 40 years after Lewis' death, people still have their own ideas about him. Depending on whom you ask, Lewis was a scholar, fantasy writer, Christian saint -- or all that and more. As Disney launches its much-anticipated movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, more people than ever are asking: Who was C.S. Lewis? And what is his legacy?
In Review
NBC drama series features life of an Episcopal priest
An Episcopal priest played by Aidan Quinn is the focus of a new TV drama series starting Jan. 1 on NBC.
Examining future shocks
Beginning with one of the most-abused of those biblical texts is, I believe, a symbolically significant place to begin.  It is here that readings of the biblical text are at their most distorted.  It is here that counterintuitive readings pass for the text’s obvious reading.  It is here that biblical authority is assigned to a theology all but alien to the Old and New Testament.
Readers, columnist debate worth of apology to African Americans
What is a government worth if it cannot come to the aid of its poorest people -- especially a country like the United States, which enjoys great wealth and made it (after stealing the land from the native people) on the backs of poor black Africans, poor Chinese and others?
The gospel according to the IRS
In early November All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, Calif., learned that it might lose its tax-exempt status because of an IRS probe. A sermon the former rector, the Rev. George Regas, preached just before the presidential election in 2004 triggered the investigation.
Following the star
Our path may take us into dark woods, through deep ravines and over lofty peaks.  Along the way, we may be obliged to relinquish various certitudes and images of ourselves and experience a nakedness that leaves us exposed and undefended.  Demands may be made upon us that will seem to us to be greater than our ability or endurance.  However, as difficult as all this may be, God’s grace accompanies us in the form of courage.
Letters to the Editor
Episcopal Life welcomes letters and will give preference to those in response to stories. Letters should be no longer than 250 words and must include the writer’s name, address, phone number for verification. Pictures are welcome. Send to Letters, Episcopal Life , 815 Second Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017; or e-mail to All letters will be edited for brevity and clarity.