George Lindbeck’s thoughtful reflections in this issue on the state of ecumenism set me to ruminating on my own ecumenical experience. It also reminded me that this journal has been ecumenically minded from its inception. For a time it even described itself as an “ecumenical weekly” (and before that as an “undenominational weekly”).
My initial exposure to ecumenism occurred in the fall of my first year in seminary when my wife and I were asked to represent the University of Chicago Divinity School at the Church Federation of Chicago’s annual meeting. We dressed up in our best clothes, took the train into the Loop, and found our way to the big hotel ballroom, the poshest space we had ever been in. We joined a huge throng of people festively gathered around tables with white tableclothes, centerpieces and more silverware than seemed necessary.