Dialogika Resources

A Resolution of the 1979 General Convention

Posted with the permission of the Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Episcopal Church in the USA

Whereas, the Church is reminded in all parts of Holy Scripture of those spiritual ties which link the community of the New Testament to the seed of Abraham and is exhorted by St. Paul to recall that she is nourished by root and sap of that good and consecrated olive tree onto which the wild olive branches of the Gentiles have been grafted (Romans 11:17-24); and

Whereas, the Church cannot forget that she has received the revelation of the Old Testament from that people with whom God, in his infinite goodness and mercy, established and nourished those ancient covenants; and that St. Paul bears witness that the Jews remain precious to God for the sake of the patriarchs, since God does not withdraw the gifts he has bestowed or revoke the choices he has made (Romans 11:28-29); and

Whereas, our Lord Jesus Christ was born, circumcised, dedicated, and baptized into the community of Israel to whom belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Torah, the worship and the patriarchs (Roman 9:4-5); and the first apostles and witnesses themselves were all of Jewish lineage; and

Whereas, all the faithful in Christ consider themselves to be the offspring of Abraham (Galatians 3:7) and included in his call, being also the inheritors of that redemption figured in the Exodus of God's chosen people from bondage to Pharaoh; and

Whereas, Christian and Jew share the common hope for that day in which our God will be King over the whole earth (Zechariah 14:9), and, receiving the kingdom, will be "all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28), and are thus bound by that hope to a common divine service; and

Whereas, a denial of or an ignorance of their spiritual roots by Christians has, more often than not, provided fertile ground for the festering of antisemitism even among leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ--the Holocaust in Hitler's Germany being only the most recent and painful memory; therefore be it

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That this 66th General Convention of the Episcopal Church call anew upon the leadership of the Episcopal Church, both clergy and lay, to deepen their commitment to Episcopal-Jewish dialogue and to interfaith cooperation in local communities; and, wherever appropriate, to seek exposure to ancient and contemporary Jewish scholarship so as to better comprehend the Scriptures on which, and the religious environment in which, our Lord Jesus Christ was nourished; and to appreciate more fully the religious worship and experiences of our neighbors in the Jewish community; and be it further

Resolved, That, to the end of encouraging and furthering mutual understanding between Episcopalians and Jews by way of biblical and theological enquiry and through friendly discussion, the Presiding Bishop's Advisory Committee on Episcopal-Jewish Relations initiate a study on the methodology for and substantive issues of Episcopal-Jewish dialogue in the next triennium; and be it further

Resolved, That the report of the said Presiding Bishop's Advisory Committee on Episcopal-Jewish Relations, together with recommendations for implementation of the dialogue, be made to the 67th General Convention of the Episcopal Church.