The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


ELCA and LCMS discuss their relationship

ELCA and Lutheran Church­Missouri Synod representatives discussed on Nov. 12 in St. Louis renewing semiannual theological talks between the two church bodies.

Samuel Nafzger, executive director, LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations, said the LCMS is "concerned" that it had been left out of recent dialogues with the ELCA and Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches.

ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson questioned a resolution adopted by the 2001 LCMS national convention that called the ELCA "unorthodox." He said it was "confusing ... for an ecumenical partner to read that the LCMS does not consider the ELCA orthodox."

Nafzger said the resolution stated that the two churches don't have doctrinal agreement. And LCMS Secretary Raymond Hartwig said the resolution could be seen as an effort to reach out to the ELCA.

"That is not how it was received," said Donald McCoid, bishop of the ELCA Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod and chair of the Conference of Bishops.

Hanson will talk with ELCA officials and ecumenical partners about including the LCMS in the dialogues.


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