The Archdiocese of Chicago and the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to Commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation with an Ecumenical Prayer Service
Chicago, IL (October 24, 2017) – Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, and Bishop Wayne Miller, of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will lead an ecumenical prayer service and Covenant Renewal commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on Tuesday, October 31 at 7 p.m. at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State Street, Chicago.
“The anniversary of the Reformation is a time to renew our common baptism and shared faith in Jesus Christ,” said Cardinal Cupich. “Together we stand in solidarity with our Lutheran brothers and sisters in committing to make our city a place of peace and hope for all.”
On May 13, 1989, the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Archdiocese of Chicago entered a historic covenant, the nation’s first such accord. The churches were brought together by their respective bishops at the time – Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and Bishop Sherman G. Hicks – to cooperate in ministry, to promote dialogue and collaboration on issues of faith and mutual concern, both theological and pastoral, and to deepen the unity existing between the two churches.
Bishop Miller emphasized the importance of the commitment between the two churches for the shared mission of peace and unity. “Just as the Reformation helped bring many things into focus, this renewal of our Covenant brings forward the importance of our shared life together with our Catholic brothers and sisters, and our mutual obligation as Christians to create a better and fairer world where violence and hatred have no place,” he said.
In October 2016, Pope Francis attended a joint prayer service with leaders from the Lutheran World Federation in Lund, Sweden, to begin a year-long celebration of the milestone anniversary. At the conclusion of that service, the Pope and Bishop Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, signed an agreement pledging to work toward unity between the two churches.
Following the example of Pope Francis and Bishop Younan, Cardinal Cupich and Bishop Miller have encouraged Catholics and Lutherans to establish or renew local covenants through participating in joint activities and events, prayer groups and service projects. Inspired by the actions of the Pope and Bishop Younan, both local bishops will sign a Covenant Renewal that is rooted in the shared desire for unity and recognizes that both churches are confronted with similar pressing social justice issues. Locally, Lutherans and Catholics will join in using their collective voice and resources to address violence, poverty and racial injustice in Chicago.
For more information about the Convent Renewal service, please visit renewingcovenant.com.