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Latest round in NALC/LCMS/LCC discussions

December 20, 2013 No Comment

NALC Executive Director Rev. Mark Chavez (NALC), Rev. Larry Vogel (LCMS), Bishop John Bradosky (NALC), Dr. David Wendel (NALC), Dr. James Nestingen (NALC), President Matthew Harrison (LCMS), First Vice-President Herbert Mueller (LCMS), Dr. Joel Lehenbauer (LCMS), Professor John Pless (LCMS), President Robert Bugbee (LCC), Dr. Robert Benne (NALC).

ST. LOUIS, Missouri – Representatives of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), and Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) met for the latest round of semi-annual discussions at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis from December 16-17. The theme for this installment of the dialogue was “The Church in the Public Square,” and had as its highlight an evening lecture by NALC theologian, Rev. Dr. Robert Benne of Roanoke College in Virginia.

The participating churches reported on events since the previous round of talks this past May. “The relationships within this group are brotherly and cordial,” noted LCC President Robert Bugbee, “though we all recognize that we still have serious homework to do on matters where we are not in agreement.”

Since a number of the NALC participants had not visited Concordia Seminary before, its president, Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, hosted a morning tour on the first day of meetings. President Bugbee served as chapel preacher for the seminary community that day, with a sermon entitled “The Coming Lord Kindles Patience” (based on James 5:7-11). Participants in the inter-Lutheran discussions also received an update during the meeting on a theological volume being prepared by LCMS and NALC theologians on Law and Gospel, a project coordinated by Rev Dr. James Nestingen (NALC) and Rev. Prof. John Pless (LCMS).

Relations between the NALC and LCC continue to develop. In 2013, LCC welcomed youth from Canadian NALC congregations to the national youth gathering in Winnipeg, joined the NALC (as well as the LCMS and the Anglican Church in North America) in issuing a joint-statement on marriage, and sent First-Vice President Nolan Astley to greet NALC members at their national convocation in August.

The NALC, comprised mostly of pastors and congregations who left the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) over issues of human sexuality, biblical authority, and the nature of the Gospel, has now grown to some 140,000 members in 340 local congregations.

The next round of discussions is set for June 24-25, 2014 at LCC’s synodical office in Winnipeg.


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