Following a March 22 meeting in St. Louis, representatives of The American Association of Lutheran Churches and The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod have set dates for official theological discussions that could lead to establishment of altar and pulpit fellowship.
The meeting was the latest between the two church bodies since the formation of TAALC, which is made up primarily of congregations that chose not to become members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America when it was established in 1987. TAALC has 83 congregations and a baptized membership of 11,732. Its headquarters are in Minneapolis.
In 1989, an agreement with the LCMS allowed TAALC students to study for the pastoral ministry at LCMS seminaries. TAALC established its own seminary in 1991 and has talked with officials at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, about relocating its seminary to that campus.
“We had a very positive meeting with [TAALC] representation,” said LCMS President Gerald B. Kieschnick. “Each of our church bodies accepts the Holy Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, and both accept the Lutheran Confessions without qualification as the correct exposition of the Scriptures.”
TAALC Presiding Pastor, Rev. Thomas Aadland, agreed, adding, “The basis clearly exists for discussing our respective positions on a number of specific issues such as church and ministry, communion practices, and charismatic issues.”
The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 6 at a TAALC congregation in Albuquerque, N.M.
In addition to Kieschnick, LCMS representatives included Rev. William Diekelman, first vice president; Dr. Raymond Hartwig, secretary; Dr. Charles Arand, chairman of the systematics department at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; and Dr. Samuel Nafzger, CTCR executive director.
TAALC representatives included Aadland; Rev. Darell Deuel, chairman of the Commission on Doctrine and Church Relations; Rev. Frank Hays, interim seminary president; and Rev. Harold Johnson, secretary.
Posted March 30, 2005