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Thomas Ferguson named ecumenical and interreligious relations officer

[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Thomas Ferguson has been named as ecumenical and interreligious relations officer for the Episcopal Church, according to a June 23 announcement from the Office of Public Affairs.

Ferguson will develop strategies and actions supporting Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's ministry as chief ecumenical officer of the Episcopal Church, the release said. "Working with colleagues, Ferguson will seek to foster ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and cooperation with other Christian communions and world religions."

Ferguson served as associate deputy for ecumenical and interreligious relations since 2001 and as interim ecumenical officer following Bishop Christopher Epting's retirement at the end of 2009.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve the presiding bishop and the Episcopal Church," Ferguson said, according to the release. "Given many of the changes we are facing in society, our ecumenical and interreligious engagement is of critical importance to the life of the church."

Ferguson's appointment follows the June 7 announcement from the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, that the memberships of five Episcopalians serving on the communion's ecumenical dialogues have been discontinued.

Until Kearon's announcement, Ferguson was a member of the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue.

Ferguson has served as theological consultant for the Episcopal Church’s bilateral theological dialogues with the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church.

Ferguson has taught as adjunct faculty at Union Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology and Wartburg Theological Seminary.

Ferguson was ordained to the priesthood December 2009. He has served as the interim chaplain at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at posts at Emmanuel Church, Boston; Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island; and St. Thomas Church in New Haven, Connecticut.

He holds a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and is a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Yale Divinity School and Wesleyan University.

Ferguson will be a member of the Episcopal Church's global partnerships team. He will be based in Madison, Wisconsin.

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