Recap: Vermont Ecumenical Council Christian Unity Service
By Marge Sharpe | Trinity Episcopal Church, Shelburne
SHELBURNE, VT – “We do public witness of our ministry together. We do it by witnessing our oneness.” This was the message Vermont Episcopal Bishop Thomas C. Ely gave to mark the annual meeting of the Vermont Ecumenical Council (VEC) on February 3.
According to the printed program, the work of VEC is to “act as a ‘network of Christian cooperation’ connecting Christians across our state…”
VEC’s annual service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was held at Trinity. Pictured above, ecumenical leaders from several Vermont Christian bodies took parts in the service. Among those participating were Bishop Christopher Coyne of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, the Rev. Greg Smith of Shelburne’s United Methodist Church (representing the Vermont District of the United Methodist New England Conference), the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wright of Ascension Lutheran Church in South Burlington, the Rev. Rubin Jennings of the North Springfield Baptist Church, Christopher McCandless of the Religious Society of Friends, and Roy V. Hill II of the Ecumenical Council.
In his homily, Bishop Ely said, “Our work leads us to unity. It embraces our multitude of beliefs.”
He referred to the words, in part, of the service’s final hymn which the congregation would sing to close the service as, “Let this house proclaim from floor to rafter, All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.”
A highlight of the service was a series of three liturgical dances presented by the Sacred Dance Ensemble of St. Michael’s College with inspiring music by our own Michael Hartigan. Following the service, a potluck supper, coordinated by Paige Corologos and Lisa Newton of our Mission and Outreach Committee, was held in the McClure Room.