With a solemn, yet joyful worship service October 4, members of four Protestant traditions celebrated their entry into full communion, promising to live "day by day" into deeper commitment to one another.
More than 2,000 people jammed into the Gothic-style Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago for the worship service bringing the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ one step closer together in the quest for Christian unity.
The denominations had previously approved the bold "full communion" venture that will enable each to share ministers, sacraments, and members. It also allows them to operate joint ministries while still retaining denominational identities.
The service opened with a four-way processional leading to a central baptismal font—the symbol of the basic sacrament of membership in each of the bodies. A common recitation of the Nicene Creed and a Renewal of Baptismal Vows emphasized common beliefs each tradition holds.
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