July 15, 2008

Episcopal bishop V. Gene Robinson and his longtime male partner, Mark Andrew, were joined in a civil union June 7 in New Hampshire. The civil ceremony was held in the narthex of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Concord, said Mike Barwell, a spokesperson for Robinson. A religious thanksgiving service at the church followed five years to the day after Robinson was elected inside St. Paul’s as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church or the wider Anglican Communion. Civil unions have been legal in New Hampshire since January 1.

John H. P. Reumann, 81, a New Testament professor and Lutheran theologian who was influential in Lutheran–Roman Catholic dialogues for 30 years, died of cancer June 6 at his Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, residence. An emeritus professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Reumann served as dean and acting president and retired in 1996. From 1932 to 1986, he was on the commission that led to the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He wrote at least 15 books, finishing a commentary on Philippians before his health declined.