The ELCA Department for Ecumenical Affairs should continue bilateral conversations with representatives of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, United Methodist, Mennonite and African Methodist Episcopal traditions, said the unit's advisory committee at its Jan. 26-27 meeting in Denver. But the committee said the unit's funding priority should be the Lutheran World Federation.
Suggestions of continued dialogue with leaders of the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod met with mixed reactions. Timothy Wengert, professor of Reformation history at the Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia, said he knows of some LCMS members who are "pained" by actions such as the 2001 LCMS convention resolution declaring that the ELCA cannot be considered "an orthodox Lutheran church body." He said, "On behalf of those folks, we have to continue to talk."
Kathy J. Magnus, LWF regional officer for North America, Chicago, said she is concerned that no women are present in the ELCA-LCMS meetings, especially since the ELCA ordains women.
LCMS officials have urged "that a deeper relationships between the two church bodies be attempted."
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