The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


WordAlone forms new organization

Meeting March 25-27 in Phoenix, the WordAlone Network established Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. This parallel group will work with congregations that object to the historic episcopate requirement of Called to Common Mission, the full communion agreement between the ELCA and Episcopal Church.

The 800 participants adopted a constitution that gives provisions for member congregations to call and ordain pastors without the involvement of the required historic episcopate. It also allows LCMC members to be affiliated with the ELCA. WordAlone has 166 congregations; 26 are LCMC members.

"We want a constitution that doesn't get in the way of the priesthood of all believers doing the mission and ministry God has entrusted to all believers," said Mark Chavez, WordAlone's executive director.

"The call to common mission is like corporate consolidation," said keynote speaker Paul Erickson. "[CCM] fights the precepts of Martin Luther and of history too. It's like having Augsburg press publishing Playboy."

Chavez said some members have indicated they are ready to break from the ELCA if changes aren't made, but it was not the intention of the association to do so at this time.

Erickson said attendees shouldn't assume LCMC membership is controversial. But convention materials included directions on what member congregations could do if they become involved in a legal dispute with the ELCA.

Erickson and WordAlone president Roger Eigenfeld emphasized promoting representative leadership within the ELCA who would consider alternatives to CCM or would refuse to comply with it.


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February issue


Embracing diversity