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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Request to leave denied

The Florida-Bahamas Synod council declined a request from St. Peter Lutheran, Fort Pierce, to terminate its ELCA membership after the congregation successfully completed two votes to leave.

David D. Swartling, ELCA secretary, said he wasn't aware of another instance in which a congregation's request to terminate its relationship with the ELCA (since the 2009 Churchwide Assembly) had been denied.

Churches founded in the former Lutheran Church in America must by constitution "receive synodical approval" for termination.

"For missional reasons, we felt we could not approve this ... there's no other ELCA congregation in Fort Pierce," said Edward R. Benoway, synod bishop.


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