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Lutheran Church–Canada participates in inter-Lutheran discussions

December 18, 2012 One Comment
Participants in the discussions between Lutheran Church–Canada, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and North American Lutheran Church

Participants in the discussions between Lutheran Church–Canada, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and North American Lutheran Church

 

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A third round of theological discussions among representatives of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), and Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) took place December 13-14 at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

LCMS President Dr. Matthew Harrison issued the original invitation to the NALC in 2011 so that the two church bodies could become acquainted. Lutheran Church–Canada President Dr. Robert Bugbee was invited to the discussions from the beginning since the NALC now includes a growing number of congregations in Canada.

“I’m grateful to be part of these conversations and thank God that biblical Lutheran church bodies are encouraging one another in the all-important task of proclaiming Christ, the Saviour of the world,” noted LCC’s president.

The NALC was organized by pastors and congregations who withdrew from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) after that body approved the blessing of same-gender couples and the ordination of same-gender candidates for the ministry in 2009. When the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) approved similar actions in 2011, a number of clergy and parishes in Canada followed suit, and others are still actively considering this move. The NALC has grown to 340 congregations and more than 100,000 members in North America.

LCC has provided assistance to NALC’s Canadian parishes and pastors in the area of worker benefits, and is inviting NALC youth and leaders to LCC’s 2013Youth Gathering in Winnipeg

In three meetings, participants in the discussions have discovered a strong degree of common conviction on the authority of Holy Scripture, the mission of the church in the world, and questions of human sexuality.

Missouri Synod representatives at the most recent meeting included President Harrison, Dr. Albert Collver, Dr. Joel Lehenbauer and Rev. Larry Vogel. Participating on behalf of the NALC were Bishop John Bradosky, Emeritus Bishop Paull Spring, Dr. David Wendel, Rev. Mark Chavez, and Dr. James Nestingen.

President Bugbee noted that “as mainline Christendom continues to fade all around us, this is no time for retreat, but a moment for clarity on biblical teaching and energetic faithfulness to the church’s missionary work. It’s wonderful to spend time with leaders who share that goal.”

The church bodies have organized a schedule of two meetings per year through to mid-2014. The next is scheduled for Dallas, Texas in May, 2013.

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