On Tuesday, September 2, 2014, ACT3 hosted its first fall evening forum. Our subject was Christian diversity and deep friendship. I invited an Orthodox priest, Fr. Wilbur Ellsworth, and a Catholic author and editor, Tom Masters, to join me for a dialogue about how we share deep friendship and still remain committed to very different Christian traditions: Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.
Fr. Ellsworth was a Baptist minister for decades before entering the Orthodox Church about seven years ago. He has been my friend for decades and is the former chairman of the ACT3 Network board of directors. He now pastors Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in Warrenville, Illinois. Mr. Tom Masters is a life-long Catholic, a former teacher and the editorial director of New City Press, the publishing house of the Focolare a lay-Catholic movement I have shared a great deal with in recent years. Tom currently serves on the ACT3 board.
I, as most of you already know, am an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America (RCA). I do not currently pastor a stated congregation but remain in good standing with my Reformed denomination. I am a lifelong Protestant and deeply committed to a Reformed understanding of the church and the way in which salvation is mediated to those who believe in Christ. Yet I am also a practicing ecumenist who seeks to develop deeper friendships with my brothers and sisters from the entire Christian Church.
So I came up with the idea of a friendly dialogue which would allow us to talk to one another and then answer questions from the audience. The dialogue is nearly 90 minutes long.