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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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ELCA and LCMS leaders talk mission, theology

On Oct. 28, ELCA and Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod leaders discussed joint ministries, dialogue between Lutherans and Roman Catholics, and updates on their work.

Since the Committee on Lutheran Cooperation met at the Lutheran Center at Christ Church, Baltimore, a significant portion of its time was given to discussion with leaders of pan-Lutheran agencies based there:

• Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, a partnership of the ELCA, LCMS and Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church. A strong “biblical and reformation heritage” motivates Lutherans to be engaged in social service, such as resettlement of refugees and immigration matters, said Ralston H. Deffenbaugh Jr., LIRS president. The agency’s roots were in service to Lutherans displaced during World War II, he said, and work expanded worldwide in the 1950s.

Currently LIRS is concerned with comprehensive immigration reform and the impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on refugees and migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., Deffenbaugh said. More than half of the refugees LIRS resettles are Muslim, he added.


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