From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
01 Feb 2001 09:05:46for <@conf2mail.igc.apc.org,conf-wfn.news>; Thu, 1 Feb 2001 09:17:18 -0800 (PST)
Historic covenant signed
(Jerusalem Post) Representatives of the Syrian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and
the Anglican Church in the United Kingdom and Nigeria signed a history-making covenant
between the three dioceses.
According to the Rev. Petra Heldt of the Ecumenical Theological Research
Fraternity in Israel, which was instrumental forging the link between the churches,
this is the first official link between the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Anglican
"Ecumenism isn't just a matter of contacts between the Vatican and the World
Council of Churches, it is also a matter of cooperation between churches on a local
level," Heldt said.
The agreement was signed this month by Bishop Colin Bennetts of the Church of
England, Bishop Josiah Fearon of Kaduna, Nigeria, and Archbishop Mar Swerios of the
Syrian-Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.
Bennetts said that he saw the agreement as a step toward furthering peace. "I am
very excited by this new three-way partnership. Jerusalem, with all its historic
connections to the Christian faith, is the ideal place for us to sign a covenant of
friendship and cooperation. I pray that in some small way we may play our part in
bringing peace to that troubled land."
Heldt added that on a practical level, the agreement will mean financial support
for the new Syrian Orthodox school in Jerusalem.
ELCA offering two new videos
(ENS) MOSAIC, the video magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
(ELCA), is introducing two new videos about Martin Luther
"Opening the Door to Luther" is a 30-minute video documentary about the life of
Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. It is hosted by public television travel
expert and author Rick Steves, and was recorded on location in Wittenberg, Eisleben,
Worms, Marburg, Coburg and Erfurt. The video and user guide were designed for use in
confirmation and new member classes.
It was produced by the ELCA department of communication and will be distributed
free of charge to every ELCA congregation on March 1, courtesy of a grant from Aid
Association for Lutherans. Additional copies are available for $12.50 from
The second video, "The Morning Star of Wittenberg: The Life of Katie Luther,"
provides an intimate look at Katharina von Bora, former nun, 16th Century entrepreneur
and wife of Martin Luther.
El Salvador earthquake update
(ENS) Bishop Martin Barahona, of the Diocese of El Salvador, reports that
Salvadorans are now "waking up" from the effects of a January 13 earthquake. He said
that 98 municipalities of the national territory are practically destroyed, and that
current data reports 726 deaths, 4, 440 wounded, 111,401 are homeless and 118,157 homes
Barahona expressed gratitude for the Episcopal Church of the United States and the
Anglican Communion for all their prayers and financial assistance. He said that on a
daily basis the Episcopal Church of El Salvador prepares and shares 2,000 meals along
with packages of food and water which are given to the homeless. But he says they are
"getting ready for the restoration stage."
According to Sandra Swan, executive director of Episcopal Relief and Development
(ERD), this means through continued support from Episcopalians across the United
States, an extensive program of reconstruction similar to what was done in Honduras
will take place.
Barahona said this process will also include pastoral and psychological attention.
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