As I spent my quarantine period looking over years of computer files saved by my predecessors, I noted with some approval the efforts at ecumenical worship in my new parish’s town.
But then I looked more carefully at the documents in the folder–nothing since 2009:
I asked my pastor about it. He lamented it hadn’t really gotten off the ground in some years and there was little interest in a revival. I think the local Christian pastors have the occasional get-together over coffee and breakfast sweets. That seems to be it. I would have thought the Catholic-Lutheran spine of Minnesota might have kept things alive. Alas, no.
That’s kind of sad. My first year in full-time ministry, we had a Fall get-together of the town’s eight churches–a choir night. Then we had a Thanksgiving Eve service that was similar. The host church would provide the liturgy and choir members were invited to augment.
Even twenty years ago, we were doing things. The rabbi from the local synagogue brought his eight-foot long shofar to announce the jubilee year of 2000.
Have our concerns about survival in an Age of Disaffiliation dampened the ecumenical spirit?
It may also be mainline churches that used to participate in these things have dramatically declined in census, as it were, in many places.
The non-mainline churches are much less liturgically oriented and may not exactly want to treat Catholics as fellow Christians.