National Lutheran News

ELCA, LCMS leaders will keep talking

Two Lutheran groups maintain shared military chaplaincy program

The Rev. Mark S. Han-son, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said he is “profoundly grateful” for the decision of the 62nd Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to continue discussions with the ELCA.

In a brief addressto delegates on July 14 , Hanson referred to the convention’s adoption, by a vote of 672-479, of a resolution that calls for continued discussion be-tween representatives of the two church bodies on a variety of scriptural, theological and church topics.

In addition, the LCMS Praesidium — the Synod’s president and five vice presidents — recommended that ELCA-LCMS cooperative ar-rangements for military chaplaincy be continued.

“We [in the ELCA] share with you the commitment to a continuing effort to bear witness to the truth of the Scriptures and the Confe-sions in the hope that agreement can be reached in areas where we disagree,” Hanson said.

The ELCA presiding bishop asked the delegates to continue “in well-doing,” together as church bodies, and he asked that members of both bodies “not fail” to pray for one another.

Hanson focused his remarks on areas of common history and ministry. “As Lutherans, we stand on the shoulders of giants. We stand on the shoulders of Dr. Martin Luther,” he said.

Hanson praised C.F.W. Walther, the first president of the LCMS who, he said, “emerged as a strong, in-sightful, courageous leader of those Saxon immigrants.”

— ELCA News