Beginning in 2012, the 2.3-million member Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod will end 70 years of cooperation with the 4.2-million member ELCA and its predecessor churches in training military chaplains.
The LCMS will evaluate other joint work on a case-by-case basis, according to a July 13 memo from LCMS Praesidium Secretary Herbert C. Mueller.
"Today, like two ships at sea sailing apart on different compass headings, the ELCA and the LCMS have lost sight of each other," wrote LCMS President Matthew Harrison in a July 18 announcement to the church. "Doctrinal differences and tensions have been exacerbated by the position of the ELCA on same-sex unions and the imminent repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell.'"
Harrison said LCMS chaplains would provide word and sacrament ministry to Lutherans in uniform "on a case-by-case basis."
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