Dr. Michael Kinnamon: Election Season & the Ecumenical Church

Written by Hannah Crivello
October 8, 2012

Dr. Michael Kinnamon:
Is there a word from the ecumenical church
this election season? - October 2, 2012

Download the PDF of the full talkKinnamon_PDFspeakingeventSeattle10022012

Dr. Michael Kinnamon shared at the Plymouth Church United Church of Christ on Tuesday evening, October 2nd for an audience most interested in the question: "What should ecumenical Christians keep in mind in the midst of this costly and contentious election season?" During a time of decreased confidence in political institutions to address constructively the great issues of our day, and of partisan polarization, is there a word from churches and other religious communities that are committed to conciliation rather than divisiveness?

Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon is the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry Spehar-Halligan Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Collaboration in Interreligious Dialogue. Dr. Kinnamon was the ninth General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the USA, serving from 2008 until his retirement at the end of 2011. In addition to his visiting professorship at Seattle University STM, he is currently at work on a new book entitled "Can a Renewal Movement be Renewed? Questions for the Ecumenical Future."

EXCERPTS FROM HIS TALK'S INTRO BELOW, Download the PDF of the full talk here.

"Before I talk, I want to say something. Actually, three things.
First, I accepted the offer to join the faculty of Seattle University?s School of Theology
and Ministry in large part because I believe it is better positioned than practically any
other theological school in the country to prepare Christian leaders for this era when
ecumenical and interfaith relations are so vitally important. At a time when many
denominational seminaries are struggling with costly campuses and unwieldy
administrative structures, STM offers a new model--and one that insistently bridges the
historic Protestant-Catholic divide. I am very aware that two white Protestant guys
named Michael do not fully reflect the diversity of the body of Christ! But I am
convinced that over the next three years, the time I will be here as Visiting Professor
before retirement, Michael and I, working closely with our faculty and staff colleagues at
STM, can enhance what is already a strong program of ecumenical and interfaith
studies. And all of us on the STM faculty recognize that you are also our colleagues in
this ministry. Thank you for your support of STM and for coming to be with us this
I want to note, by the way, that it is certainly possible to be interdenominational without
being ecumenical. STM has not fulfilled all righteousness simply by having students
from different traditions in the same classroom. A truly ecumenical school of theology
will insist on teaching the biblically-grounded vision of unity in Jesus Christ and on
sharing with one another the gifts that God has entrusted to us in the one, holy, catholic,
and apostolic church. We who teach at STM ask you to help hold us accountable to this
understanding of our task." Download the PDF of the full talk here.