Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Lutherans and Episcopalians Together: A Guide to Understanding

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Lutherans and Episcopalians Together: A Guide to Understanding

Article excerpt

Lutherans and Episcopalians Together: A Guide to Understanding. By G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber. Cambridge: Cowley Publications, 2001. xii + 148 pp. $11.95 (paper); Education kit available only from Leader Resources (reproducible master file, text file, computer disk) for $39.95. 1-800-941-2218 or

This book is intended primarily for lay study groups in Episcopal parishes and Lutheran congregations. It was written by Lutheran pastor Scott Cady and Episcopal priest Christopher Webber, who serve adjacent parishes in Cornwall, Connecticut. Lutherans and Episcopalians Together helps to introduce ELCA Lutherans and ECUSA Anglicans to each other at a time when these two church bodies are beginning their new full communion relationship. It presents in seven succinct chapters the history, beliefs, and practices of the Lutheran and Anglican traditions, with an eye as to how this history and these beliefs and practices are being lived today in actual congregational/parish life. A concluding chapter looks to the future of this relationship with proposals from the authors about ways in which these two church bodies can share ministries and resources.

The eight chapters are "Our Common Heritage," "What We Believe," "How We Worship," "Governing our Churches," "A Ministry of Oversight," "The Priesthood of All Believers," "Our Common Life," and "The Future Church." The authors show what these two traditions have in common, but also alert ordinary Lutherans and Episcopalians to differences in how theology is done, how worship books are used, how church authority is exercised, how bishops are elected (the Lutheran use of the ecclesiastical ballot is not mentioned!), and how parishes and congregations are governed. It will be important for Lutherans to learn that Episcopal laypersons take seriously their role in the governance of local parishes (an expression of the priesthood of believers) and that Lutheran bishops sometimes exert more authority than Episcopal bishops (even though they are only now growing into the historic episcopate). "Our Common Life" shows the degree of similarity in the way in which Lutherans and Episcopalians live their life within their congregations/parishes and denominations. …

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