A Partnership Dies Too Soon

Today, the sixteen-year partnership between Trinity Lutheran Seminary and Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary came to an end when the Board of Directors of the Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation voted unanimously to terminate the ecumenical relationship between the seminaries and move all of BSSF’s operations back to Chicago. BSSF says it’s for the best. Trinity hasn’t yet released a statement.

I am heartbroken. The partnership between Trinity and Bexley Hall was one of the pivotal influences in my formation as a pastor. The relationship was a strong, visible example of the work our two churches can accomplish together, as Called to Common Mission hoped. We lived together. We learned together. We worshiped together. We served together. Through our daily life together, we learned about each other, and about ourselves. That kind of interaction, that kind of dialogue, is the very heart of ecumenical work. And now it’s gone.

I don’t know exactly what happened. I hear rumors, but rumors are not facts. All I know is that something great and beautiful has been lost, and in its place returns the same old way of doing things, the way that we know is unsustainable and doesn’t work.

I hope that the Holy Spirit still has some breathing in store for both institutions, because right now, it feels like the breath has been knocked right out. Please, pray for both communities as they suffer through this transitional time.


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