On November 26, 2017, Good Shepherd Lutheran and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Churches, both located in Washington Court House, jointly celebrated the Holy Eucharist with two bishops attending. Leading the service was the Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal, Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, along with the Rev. Suzanne Darcy Dillahunt, Bishop of the Southern Ohio Synod. The worship service also included the confirmation of Tyler McCoy of Xenia, Ohio.
The special event marked the third anniversary of Good Shepherd and St. Andrew’s entering into a shared Pastor/Priest agreement as part of the “Called to Common Mission Agreement,” adopted by the 1999 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the 2000 General Convention of The Episcopal Church. Both congregations are progressing toward the goal of forming a “Common Mission” in 2018. The relationship of full communion between the Lutheran and Episcopal Churches increases opportunities for mission and witness. By allowing for the exchange of clergy between the two churches, one pastor or priest may serve congregations of both church bodies. This new relationship proves invaluable in increasing opportunities for service to the world. The full range of such opportunities would not be possible without the exchangeability of clergy.
Following the worship service, a reception was held to honor Tyler McCoy’s confirmation. In addition, both bishops met with the Council/Vestry members and discussed the final steps of the current call process both congregations are conducting. The bishops also strongly supported the Common Mission goal and collectively committed resources to complete the process.