By MARGERY SHARP
“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 which included a service followed by a pot luck meal at Shelburne’s Trinity Episcopal Church on Feb. 3.
The Sunday afternoon service congregants were welcomed by Trinity’s Rector, the Rev. Dr. Frederick Moser, and included Council members Bishop Christopher Coyne from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington; the Rev. Greg Smith, Shelburne United Methodist Church; the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wright, Rector of Ascension Lutheran Church (Shelburne), who read the first lesson from the Bible; and the Rev. Rubin Jennings, who read the second lesson.
According to the printed program, the work of the “Vermont Ecumemical Council (is to) act as a “network of Christian cooperation connecting Christians across our state.”
Bishop Ely, who retires this year, gave the Homily and reflected on the mission of the council stated in the program.
“Our work leads us to unity. It embraces our multitude of beliefs,” he said.
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.”
Offering intercessions were Christopher McCandless of the Religious Society of Friends, Ken Puzey of the Albert and Vivian Puzey Foundation, and Roy V. Hill II.
Special guests were members of The Sacred Dance Ensemble which offered three dance motifs defining the mission of the Council. These were: Dance of the Spirit, Dance of God’s Mission and Dance of Unity. Beth Esmond, Katy Gamelin, Claire Monachino, Olivia Monachino and Monique Tetreault were the dancers.
Leading the music was Michael Hartigan and memoralizing the service was videographer Ryan Boisvert.