ELCA Assembly Praised for Ecumenical Work

 — Aug. 25, 199925 aoüt 1999

DENVER (ELCA) — The 1999 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Churchwide Assembly received greetings from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and three Reformed churches that are in full communion with the ELCA the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Reformed Church in America, and United Church of Christ.

The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of the ELCA, is meeting Aug. 16-22 here at the Colorado Convention Center. There are more than 2,500 people participating, including 1,038 ELCA voting members. The theme for the biennial assembly is “Making Christ Known: Hope for a New Century.”

The Rev. Telmor Sartison, bishop of the ELCIC, said the nearly 200,000-member church body had “been watching and praying” as the ELCA made historic ecumenical decisions this week to enter into full communion with the Moravian Church in America and The Episcopal Church. In July, the ELCIC approved in principle a declaration of full communion with the Anglican Church in Canada.

“I want to acknowledge your openness to meet at the table of the Lord before all the problems are solved. The table becomes the starting point instead of the prize,” Sartison said.

Sartison said he gave thanks to God for the relationship between the ELCA and the ELCIC, the sharing of information and resources and a renewed interest in cooperative work in global mission.

The United States is a very wealthy country, Sartison said. “You have the potential to live in isolation from church and society. You also have the potential to get involved in the whole body of Christ. You have chosen the latter. For that I give thanks.”

The Rev. John Thomas, president-elect of the United Church of Christ, brought greetings on behalf of the Reformed churches and gave thanks to the ELCA for its hospitality during the assembly.

“Our people have gathered together to share the sacraments and to discern how we might implement our full communion together,” Thomas said.

Thomas said he appreciated the ELCA’s full communion decisions with Moravians and Episcopalians and the “weaving together of that full tapestry of ecumenism.”

The ELCA and its ecumenical partners have “the opportunity to minister to one another,” Thomas said.

“Remember the saints. Remember your baptism. Remember your Reformed brothers and sisters. Remember that we belong, body and soul, life and death, not to ourselves, but to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ,” he said.

Posted: Aug. 25, 1999 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=4698
Categories: ELCA News
Transmis : 25 aoüt 1999 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=4698
Catégorie : ELCA News

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