National Lutheran News

LCMS in dialogue with new Anglican body

Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, recently hosted the third in a series of four dialogue meetings between the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). The discussion took place during a forum titled “Contemporary Issues Facing the Church in North America” October 27-28.

The two Christian church bodies are not partner churches. But their representatives have been affirming and supporting one another in areas related to natural law as it pertains to some societal and ecclesial trends.

The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of LCMS, was one of the forum speakers. He hopes the dialogue with the ACNA will help strengthen and encourage credal and evangelical Christians at this time. “It is refreshing to discuss with people who are credal, evangelical, and believe the Bible,” he said.

The ACNA, with 100,000 Anglicans in 700 parishes, was formally recognized as a “province-in-formation” in April 2009 by leaders of Anglican churches representing 70 percent of active Anglicans worldwide. Based in Pennsylvania, ACNA was formed in response to liberalized policy and polity changes within the Episcopal Church USA.

“This dialogue is not intended to result in full communion, altar and pulpit fellowship,” said Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, executive director of the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations. “Rather, it is hoped that our churches will be able to affirm one another in significant ways as fellow Christians, stand together against certain societal and ecclesial trends, and cooperate together in works of mercy,” as reported in The Lutheran Reporter.

The two church bodies began this dialogue in November 2010. A second event took place in May 2011. The final session of the dialogue has not yet been scheduled.

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