calendar February 4, 2010 in Bishop

Bishop’s journal from ecumenical journey

Scroll down for latest updates — Due to technical difficulties we have been unable to get updates from Bishop Burkat, but expect this to be resolved soon.

The ELCA delegation meets with the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace. (ELCA)

Feb 2-3: On the plane from Newark to London

For the peace of the whole world, for the well being of the people of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.

I thank God, ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, and the people of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod for allowing me this most remarkable opportunity to visit the major faith centers and major Christian leaders of the global and ancient Church. More than any other time in history the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church is connected and accessible.  By air, by sea, by land, by internet, by cell, and, yes, by clear, mutual conversation, consolation and communion, we have opportunities as never before to work pray for the peace of the whole of God’s world, the well being of the people of God, and the unity of all.

To have the honor of accompanying Bishop Hanson, who is also president of the Lutheran World Federation and is seen by the other communions as the global head of the Lutheran church worldwide, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  I invite you to join the 15 Lutheran pilgrims and me in our travels to London, Istanbul, Rome and Geneva as we meet, greet and celebrate our unity in Christ.

You can follow our trip at our website,, and on the ELCA website at

Highlights of the trip include:

London, UK – meeting with the Archbishop Williams of Canterbury and his staff at Lambeth Palace (head of global Anglican Communion); evensong at Westminster Abbey

Istanbul, Turkey – Meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Phanar (head of the global Orthodox communion); visit to the Church of Chora.

Rome, Italy – General audience and private ELCA meeting with Pope Benedict XVI (head of the global Roman Catholic communion); worship at the Lutheran Church of Christ in Rome and visit to Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.

Geneva, Switzerland – Meetings with Rev Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Dr. Ishmael Noko, LWF General Secretary, and Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi, General Secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches; worship in the Ecumenical Center.

I have brought a long prayer list with me and I will take time at each church and worship opportunity to pray for the peace of the whole world, the well being of the people of God, especially our Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, for individuals in need of healing, for countries devastated by earthquakes, wars and other catastrophes, and for the unity of the Christian Church as Jesus implores us.

In Christ

+ The Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat


Feb 4: London

Bishop Jana Jeruma-Grinberga, left, Lutheran Church in Great Britain, listen as Bishop Claire Burkat, ELCA Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, makes a point. (ELCA)

ELCA Presiding Bishop, Delegation Meet Archbishop of Canterbury

LONDON (ELCA) — The Rev. Mark S. Hanson met with Dr. Rowan D.
Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, in a private hour-long meeting Feb. 4
at Lambeth Palace here.  After the meeting Hanson said the two discussed
strengthening Anglican-Lutheran relationships, challenges each leader
faces within his own communions, the proposed “Anglican Covenant” to
deepen internal church relationships, global environmental issues,
Christian-Muslim relationships, and mutual concern for conflicts in
places such as Sudan and the Middle East.



Feb. 8: Istanbul

ISTANBUL, Turkey (ELCA) — His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew I, world Orthodox leader, said that official international
theological dialogue with the Lutheran World Federation will continue.
He made the comment as he hosted an official delegation from the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) here Feb. 8.



Feb 10: Rome

Bishop Hanson’s greetings to Pope Benedict XVI is online.

Vatican News Service release:

VATICAN CITY, 10 FEB 2010 (VIS) – Following today’s general audience, the Pope met with a delegation from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, led by Bishop Mark Hanson.

Addressing the group in English, the Holy Father expressed the hope that “the continuing Lutheran-Catholic dialogue both in the United States of America and at the international level will help to build upon the agreements reached so far.

“An important remaining task”, he added, “will be to harvest the results of the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue that so promisingly started after the Vatican Council II. To build on what has been achieved together since that time, a spiritual ecumenism should be grounded in ardent prayer and in conversion to Christ, the source of grace and truth. May the Lord help us to treasure what has been accomplished so far, to guard it with care, and to foster its development”.

Benedict XVI concluded by renewing the wish expressed by his predecessor John Paul II addressing a similar Lutheran delegation in 1985: “Let us rejoice that an encounter such as this can take place. Let us resolve to be open to the Lord so that He can use this meeting for His purposes, to bring about the unity that He desires. Thank you for the efforts you are making for full unity in faith and charity”.