LCMS convention encourages conversations with North American church bodies

Photographs on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at the 66th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, in Milwaukee. LCMS/Frank Kohn

LCMS President Harrison greets Archbishop Jerome Listecki of the Milwaukee Archdiocese. (LCMS/Kohn)

By Tony Oliphant

MILWAUKEE (July 12, 2016) – Delegates to the 2016 convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod commended and encouraged conversations with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS).

Photographs on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at the 66th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, in Milwaukee. LCMS/Michael Schuermann

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod President Mark Schroeder is presented to the delegates at the 2016 LCMS Convention. (LCMS/Schuermann)

LCMS leaders have been meeting annually with representatives from the WELS and ELS since 2012 in order to discuss the churches’ respective doctrines of church and ministry, church fellowship and hermeneutics (biblical interpretation). Delegates expressed their approval of these conversations and recognized the increasingly cordial relationship among these fellow Lutherans. Future opportunities to continue these informal conversations were encouraged as ways are sought to “promote unity without compromise of God’s Word” (Res. 5-08).

Delegates also commended and encouraged interchurch conversations with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The ACNA was formed as a result of The Episcopal Church’s “unscriptural views of biblical authority, creedal dogma, and morality” (Res. 5-09). The NALC was formed for similar reasons, chiefly the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s “departure from scriptural and confessional teaching in a variety of areas” (Res. 5-09). Since 2009, representatives from the LCMS and Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC) have met twice annually with representatives from the ACNA and the NALC.

The delegation gave thanks for the desire of these church bodies to be faithful confessors of the truth of God’s Word and encouraged the LCMS Office of the President and the Commission on Theology and Church Relations to pursue further opportunities “to conserve and promote unity without compromise of God’s Word” and urged such discussions to continue.

The Rev. Tony Oliphant is pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Elmhurst, Ill., and a freelance writer for LCMS Communications.

Posted July 12, 2016

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