God is active in the world. We seek to develop our connectedness to other denominations and faith groups in order to cooperate in mission, learn from one another, and deepen our understandings of the variety and diversity of God’s imagination and creativity. St. Thomas is an active partner in several local ecumenical and interfaith ministries – these are listed in the column to the right.
We’re blessed in our neighbor congregations, Congregation Beth Shalom and University Baptist Church, and we appreciate the ways this neighborliness continues to grow into authentic trust. We’ve engaged in study and service projects with both these congregations and, when Beth Shalom’s building was damaged by a fire, we were happy to offer them our sanctuary as a place to worship.
- Congregation Beth Shalom’s solar leadership pitch-in dinner in March 2013 drew more than 150 participants from more than 15 faith communities. [Photo courtesty Beth Shalom website]University Baptist Church’s ministries include a Global Women’s Gathering of international mothers and children. [Photo courtesy UBC website]
Full Communion Partners
Full communion exists when two denominational traditions meet, study, and develop a relationship based on a common confession of the Christian faith and a mutual recognition of baptism and sharing of the Lord’s Supper. This does not mean that the denominations merge; rather, in reaching agreements, churches also respect differences. These denominations may jointly worship and exchange clergy, and also share their evangelism, witness and service in the world. Nationally, the ELCA has established full communion partnerships with six other denominations – but it’s up to local congregations like St. Thomas to turn those formal partnerships into authentic, local, lived relationships. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is in full communion with these denominations – you can read more about this relationship here: ELCA Full Communion Partners
Full Communion Partnerships
ELCA is actively working on developing interfaith partnerships. Find out more about this denominational initiative here.