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Encyclopedia > Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Classification Protestant
Orientation Mainline Lutheran
Polity Episcopal
Origin 1988
Merge of Lutheran Church in America, American Lutheran Church, & Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches
Associations Lutheran World Federation, Christian Churches Together, Churches Uniting in Christ, National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches
Geographical Area United States & Caribbean
Statistics
Congregations 10,000
Members 4.75 million
Presiding Bishop - The Rev. Mark Hanson

Vice President - Carlos Peña The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Americas logo This work is copyrighted. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Christian theology is reasoned discourse concerning... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      In the United States, the mainline... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... Ecclesiastical polity is the operational and governance structure of a church or Christian denomination. ... It has been suggested that episcopal be merged into this article or section. ... Church union is the name given to a merger of two or more Christian denominations. ... The Lutheran Church in America (LCA) was a U.S. Lutheran church body that existed from 1962 to 1987. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC) was a U.S. church body that existed from 1976 through the end of 1987. ... LWF logo The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global association of national and regional Lutheran churches headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ... Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT) is a new ecumenical group growing out of a deeply felt need to broaden and expand fellowship, unity and witness among the diverse expressions of Christian faith today. CCT is envisioned as a place where people of widely differing Christian backgrounds can come... Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC) brings together nine mainline American denominations (including both predominantly white and predominantly black churches), and was inaugurated on January 20, 2002. ... The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (usually identified as National Council of Churches, or NCC) is an association of 35 Christian faith groups in the United States with 100,000 local congregations and more than 45,000,000 adherents. ... The World Council of Churches (WCC) is an international Christian ecumenical organization. ... A congregation is the group of members who make up a local Christian church, Jewish synagogue, Mosque or other religious assembly. ... The Presiding Bishop is an ecclesiastical position in some denominations of Christianity. ... Mark S. Hanson (1946-) is currently the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, having been elected in 2001. ...

Secretary - David Swarthling

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a mainline Protestant denomination headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Formed in 1988 by the merging of three churches and currently having about 4.75 million members, it is the largest of all the Lutheran denominations in the United States.[1] The next two largest Lutheran denominations are the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (with approximately 2.5 million members[2]) and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (with approximately 410,000 members). There are also many smaller Lutheran church bodies in the United States. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      In the United States, the mainline... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Protestantism encompasses the forms... Major divisions within Christianity. ... Flag Seal Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location Location in Chicagoland and northern Illinois Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States Illinois Cook, DuPage Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 606. ... Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestant Christianity which follows the teachings of the sixteenth-century German reformer Martin Luther. ... LCMS redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States. The ELCA also has congregations in the Caribbean region (Bahamas, Bermuda, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Before 1986, some of the congregations that form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada were part of the ELCA's predecessor churches. As of the acceptance of the document Called to Common Mission (CCM) in the year 2000, it is the only American Lutheran denomination in full communion with the Episcopal Church, which is the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion. Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... “West Indian” redirects here. ... The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) (French: Eglise Evangelique Lutherienne au Canada) is Canadas largest Lutheran denomination, with 182,077 baptized members in 624 congregations. ... Called to Common Mission is an agreement between The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), establishing full communion between them. ... The Episcopal Churchs Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Washington, D.C. is often referred to as the National Cathedral. The Episcopal Church in the United States of America is the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States and several other nations, including dioceses... The Anglican Communion uses the compass rose as its symbol, signifying its worldwide reach and decentralized nature. ...


The ordination of communists as pastors (ministers of Word and Sacrament) predates the ELCA and began in 1970, in the former Lutheran Legal Services. Lutheran clergy are not referred to as priests or addressed as "Father," but have somewhat similar sacramental and leadership functions, modified by the Reformation conviction that ministry ultimately must be carried out by all members. This article is about communism as a form of society, as an ideology advocating that form of society, and as a popular movement. ... The Lutheran Church in America (LCA) was a U.S. Lutheran church body that existed from 1962 to 1987. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which began in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. ...

Contents

Organization and structure

The ELCA is headed by a Presiding Bishop, who is elected by the Churchwide Assembly for a term of six years. The Churchwide Assembly meets biennially in odd-numbered years and consists of elected lay and ordained voting members; between meetings of the Churchwide Assembly, the ELCA Church Council governs the denomination. The current presiding bishop, the Rev. Mark Hanson was elected in 2001 and was re-elected in 2007. The most recent Churchwide Assembly was held in August 2007 in Chicago, Illinois. The 2009 assembly is scheduled to meet in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Presiding Bishop is an ecclesiastical position in some denominations of Christianity. ... Mark S. Hanson (1946-) is currently the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, having been elected in 2001. ... Flag Seal Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location Location in Chicagoland and northern Illinois Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States Illinois Cook, DuPage Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 606. ... For the city and county of Honolulu, see City & County of Honolulu. ...


The church perceives itself as having three expressions: 1) The national church 2) The regional synods 3) The local church


The Church is divided into 65 synods, one of which is non-geographical (the Slovak Zion Synod) and 64 regional synods in the United States and the Caribbean, each headed by a synodical bishop and council.[3] Within the ELCA the term synod refers to the middle judicatory (referred to in some other Lutheran denominations as "districts" or "diocese"). A synod (also known as a council) is a council of a church, usually a Christian church, convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. ... The Slovak Zion Synod is one of the 65 regional bodies that maker up the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. ... A middle judicatory is an administrative structure or organization found in a religious denominations between the local congregation and the widest or highest national or international level. ...


Within the church structure are divisions addressing many programs and ministries. Among these are support for global mission, outdoor ministries, campus ministries, social ministries, and education. There are twenty-eight colleges and universities affiliated with the ELCA throughout the United States established by the predecessor bodies.


Many of the local congregations are legally independent for-profit corporations and own their own property. Actual governing practice within the congregation ranges from congregational-meeting led (more common in smaller churches), through elder- and council-led, to congregations where the senior pastor wields great, if informal, power (more common in larger churches).[4]


See List of ELCA colleges and universities, List of ELCA seminaries, List of ELCA synods. ELCA colleges and universities in the United States Augsburg College Augustana College (Illinois) Augustana College (South Dakota) Bethany College California Lutheran University Capital University Carthage College Concordia College, Moorhead Dana College Finlandia University Gettysburg College Grand View College Gustavus Adolphus College Lenoir-Rhyne College Luther College Midland Lutheran College Muhlenberg... ELCA Seminaires in the United States Luther Seminary (Saint Paul, Minnesota) Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (Illinois) Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (Columbia, South Carolina) Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (Berkeley, California) Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Columbus, Ohio) Wartburg Theological... Each of the 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America elects one bishop and three synod council officers for leadership, vision, and expertise. ...


Predecessor churches

The ELCA formally came into existence on January 1, 1988, creating the largest Lutheran church body in the United States. The Church is a result of a merger between the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), the American Lutheran Church (ALC), the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU), and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC), all of which had formally agreed in 1982 to unite after several years of discussions. The ELCA's three predecessor churches were themselves the product of previous mergers and splits among various independent Lutheran synods in the United States.[5] This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a major American non-profit organization whose stated mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.[1] It works through litigation, legislation, and community... The Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC) was a U.S. church body that existed from 1976 through the end of 1987. ...

  • The Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches
    • In 1976 the AELC was formed from congregations that left the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod over progressive-traditionalist disputes over biblical literalism, academic freedom and ecumenism. Its establishment was precipitated by the Seminex controversy at the LCMS's Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri in 1974. The AELC brought approximately 100,000 members into the ELCA. Its immigrant heritage came mostly from Germany; the complexion of its theology generally resembled that of the LCA, as the dissenting former "liberal" faction of the LCMS.

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The United Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1896. ... The Evangelical Lutheran Church or ELC was formed in 1917 as the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (NLCA). ... The Lutheran Free Church was a Lutheran church that existed in the United States official from 1897 to 1963. ... ‹The template below has been proposed for deletion. ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Area  Ranked 12th  - Total 87,014 sq mi (225,365 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 8. ... The Lutheran Church in America (LCA) was a U.S. Lutheran church body that existed from 1962 to 1987. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church (previously the Augustana Lutheran Synod) was a Lutheran church body in the United States that was one of the churches that merged into the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) in 1962. ... The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (1890) was one of the Lutheran church bodies that merged into the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) in 1962. ... American Evangelical Lutheran Church was established by Danish immigrants in 1874 took the name Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and formally organized as a synod in Neenah, Wisconsin, in 1878. ... Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ... Neo-orthodoxy is an approach to theology that was developed in the aftermath of the First World War (1914-1918). ... Fundamentalism originally referred to a movement in North American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism (see below, History), stressing that the Bible is literally inerrant, not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record. ... The Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC) was a U.S. church body that existed from 1976 through the end of 1987. ... LCMS redirects here. ... Academic freedom is the freedom of teachers, students, and academic institutions to pursue knowledge wherever it may lead, without undue or unreasonable interference. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Ecumenism (also oecumenism, Å“cumenism... Seminex is the widely used abbreviation for Concordia Seminary in Exile (later Christ Seminary-Seminex). ... Concordia Seminary is located in Clayton, Missouri, an inner-ring suburb on the western border of Saint Louis, Missouri. ... Nickname: Location in the state of Missouri Coordinates: , Country United States State Missouri County Independent City Government  - Mayor Francis G. Slay (D) Area  - City  66. ...

Presiding bishops

To date, three pastors have been elected to the position of presiding bishop of the ELCA. Herbert W. Chilstrom served as the first presiding bishop from 1988 to 1995. He was followed by H. George Anderson (1995-2001), who had previously been the President of Luther College. The current presiding bishop is Mark S. Hanson, who also serves as president of the Lutheran World Federation. Hanson's current term as bishop, which began in 2001, will end in 2007. After much campaigning he was narrowly re elected in August 2007 for another term. Herbert W. Chilstrom (born October 18, 1931) was the first Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. ... H. George Anderson (March 10, 1932-) was the second Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America from October 1995 to October 2001. ... Luther College This Luther College article is not to be confused with the Luther College associated with the University of Regina in Saskatchewan. ... This article is about the Lutheran bishop. ... LWF logo The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global association of national and regional Lutheran churches headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ...


Beliefs and practice

See also http://www.elca.org/questions/, http://www.elca.org/communication/brief.html and http://www.elca.org/communication/faith.html


The ELCA is a member church of the Lutheran World Federation, a communion of Lutheran Churches throughout the world. Lutheranism is associated with the German reformer Martin Luther, with its official confessional writings found in the Book of Concord. The ELCA accepts the unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of that document. LWF logo The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global association of national and regional Lutheran churches headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ... Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestant Christianity which follows the teachings of the sixteenth-century German reformer Martin Luther. ... Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ... The Book of Concord or Concordia is a compilation of the major theological documents of early Lutheranism. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Augsburg Confession The Augsburg Confession, also known as the Augustana from its Latin name, Confessio Augustana, is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Lutheran reformation. ...

  • Theological Position: The ELCA is less conservative than the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) or Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), the second and third largest Lutheran bodies in the United States respectively. Generally speaking, practically all moderate-to-liberal Lutherans in the U.S. belong to the ELCA; all other Lutheran bodies in the U.S. espouse some form of doctrinaire confessionalism or pietism, or an admixture of the two.
  • Interpretation of Scripture: ELCA clergy are unlikely to take the Bible literally, in concord with most liberal Protestant bodies and in sharp contrast to the LCMS or WELS. ELCA seminaries and colleges generally teach a form of historical-critical method of biblical analysis, an approach that, broadly speaking, seeks to understand the scriptures and the process of canon formation with reference to historical and social context. For a brief description, see What is the Bible? on the ELCA website. Because of its use of the historic confessions, its ideological basis in Luther's catechism and its tradition of retaining many Roman Catholic traditions, such as vestments, feast days, and the usage of a church-wide liturgy, there are many aspects of the typical ELCA synod church that are very Catholic and traditional in nature. For a brief description, see What is the Bible? on the ELCA website. The ELCA is a very broad organization, however, and there are large segments of the denomination that are "evangelical conservative," "confessional," "liturgical," "charismatic/renewal," "moderate," and "liberal activist," or even combinations of these. Each of these groups tends to see and use the Bible differently. This tolerant and young church body (1988) has generally perceived such diversity as an asset, instead of a liability or threat, as earlier generations likely would have.
  • Sacraments: Like other Lutheran church bodies, the ELCA confesses two Sacraments, Communion (or the Eucharist) and Holy Baptism (including infant baptism). The ELCA holds to the doctrine of the Sacramental Union, in other words, the belief that Christ is truly present – body, soul, humanity and divinity – "in, with and under" (Augsburg Confession) the Bread and Wine, so that communicants receive both, the elements and Christ himself. Other denominations, mainly of conservative Reformed persuasion, sometimes erroneously perceive this as a belief in consubstantiation. The ELCA, however, rejects the belief of consubstantiation and regards attempts to explain in terms of philosophical metaphysics how the Eucharist "works" as disrespectful of, if not blasphemous against, the Sacrament's miraculous and mysterious character. The Roman Catholic Church believes in transubstantiation, while many other Protestant church bodies doubt or openly refute the Real Presence in the elements of communion. Unlike practically all other American Lutheran church bodies, the ELCA practices open communion, inviting all baptized persons to receive communion. In its quest to return to many of the traditional catholic (universal) practices, the leadership of the ELCA encourages its churches to practice the Eucharist at all services, although some churches still retain non-communion services that alternate with the full liturgy of the Eucharist. In addition to the two sacraments, the ELCA also retains the other five sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church - not as sacraments, but as acts that are sacramental in nature. These include confirmation, holy orders, extreme unction, confession, and marriage. Their practice and their view as "minor sacraments" varies between churches of a "high" and "low" church nature.
  • Ministerial training and ordination: Pastors are trained at one of eight ELCA seminaries located throughout the United States. They generally hold a Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent, as well as a master's degree in divinity, and are required to learn biblical Hebrew and Greek. Pastors are ordained by bishops under terms of Called to Common Mission (CCM), the full-communion agreement between the ELCA and The Episcopal Church, a phased embrace of the historic episcopate. Since the passage of CCM, a small number of pastors have received special dispensation under extraordinary circumstances for presbyteral ordination rather than episcopal ordination, under a bylaw exception passed by the 2001 Churchwide Assembly.
  • Worship styles: The ELCA is undergoing a process of renewing its worship life. It recently released Evangelical Lutheran Worship, a main resource for congregations. It is the first in a constellation of resources to be released in the next few years. The ELCA is a liturgical church where local customs flourish. Its worship life is rich and diverse, and is rooted in the Western liturgical tradition, though Lutheran-Orthodox dialog has some influence on Lutheran liturgy. Visitors to Lutheran churches will find some people who will make the "sign of the cross" on their body and others who do not. Many Lutheran Churches use traditional vestments (alb, cincture, stole, chasuble, cope, etc.) and liturgical colors: white, red, green, and purple – although in recent years, blue is worn for Advent, scarlet for Holy Week, gold for Easter Sunday only, and black, the traditional color for mourning, is now only worn for Ash Wednesday. Much of the dialog of the liturgy has its roots in the ancient tradition of the catholic church, and in fact, since the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, many parts of the ELCA's liturgy are worded exactly like the English Mass of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Musical Heritage: The musical life of ELCA congregations is just as diverse as its worship. Johann Sebastian Bach and African songs are part of the heritage and breadth of Lutheran church music. The new Evangelical Lutheran Worship has ten settings of Holy Communion, for example. They range from plainsong chant, to Gospel, to Latin-style music. Congregations worship in many languages, many of which are represented in Evangelical Lutheran Worship and upcoming worship resources. Other books often found in ELCA churches include the Lutheran Book of Worship, With One Voice, This Far by Faith, and Libro de Liturgia y Cántico .

Comparison to LCMS in ELCA's point of view according to the Honoring Our Neighbor's Faith [6] This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... LCMS redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position... Higher criticism, also known as historical criticism, is a branch of literary analysis that attempts to investigate the origins of a text, especially the text of the Bible. ... The word Confessions has several meanings: Confessions is a series of books composed by St. ... Codex Manesse, fol. ... Vestments are liturgical garments and articles associated primarily with the Christian religions, especially the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Churches. ... The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organising a liturgical year on the level of days by associating each day with a saint, and referring to the day as the saints day of that saint. ... A liturgy is the customary public worship of a religious group, according to their particular traditions. ... In Christian belief and practice, a sacrament is a rite that mediates divine grace, constituting a sacred mystery. ... The Eucharist is either the Christian sacrament of consecrated bread and wine or the ritual surrounding it. ... For other uses, see Eucharist (disambiguation). ... Baptism in early Christian art. ... Water is poured on the head of an infant held over the baptismal font of a Catholic church in the United States in 2004 In Christian religious practice, infant baptism is the baptism of young children or infants. ... Sacramental Union (Latin, unio sacramentalis; German, sacramentlich Einigkeit) is the Lutheran theological view of the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Christian Eucharist. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Augsburg Confession The Augsburg Confession, also known as the Augustana from its Latin name, Confessio Augustana, is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Lutheran reformation. ... The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations historically related by a similar Zwinglian or Calvinist system of doctrine but organizationally independent. ... Consubstantiation is a theory which (like the competing theory of transubstantiation, with which it is often contrasted) attempts to describe the nature of the Christian Eucharist in terms of philosophical metaphysics. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic... Main article: Eucharist (Catholic Church) Transubstantiation (in Latin, transsubstantiatio) is the change of the substance of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ occurring in the Eucharist according to the teaching of some Christian Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... See Reform Judaism article about its Confirmation ceremony. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Catholic deacon candidates prostrate before the... The Anointing of the Sick is one of the sacraments of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and some Protestant churches. ... Modern confessional in the Church of the Holy Name, Dunedin, New Zealand. ... “Spouse” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Divinity (disambiguation) and Divine (disambiguation). ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ... Called to Common Mission is an agreement between The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), establishing full communion between them. ... The Episcopal Churchs Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Washington, D.C. is often referred to as the National Cathedral. The Episcopal Church in the United States of America is the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States and several other nations, including dioceses... Evangelical Lutheran Worship is the service book and hymnal for use in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. ... From the Greek word λειτουργια, which can be transliterated as leitourgia, meaning the work of the people, a liturgy comprises a prescribed religious ceremony, according to the traditions of a particular religion; it may be refer to, or include, an elaborate... The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II, was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Evangelical Lutheran Worship is the service book and hymnal for use in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. ... Evangelical Lutheran Worship is the service book and hymnal for use in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. ... Lutheran Book of Worship is a hymnal and prayer book used by several Lutheran denominations in North America. ...

Number LCMS ELCA
1 Believe in triune God Same
2 Accept Lutheran Confessions as true teachings of biblical faith Same
3 Believe that God comes to us through the Word and the sacraments Same
4 Teach justification by grace through faith Same and large donations
5 Believe that the Bible should not be subject to higher critical methods, rejecting much of modern liberal scholarship. Many within the ELCA believe that the Bible can speak effectively through the use of higher critical study.
6 Believe that the Bible is true. Believes the Bible is optional while political correctness is not.
7 High degree of doctrinal agreement necessary before fellowship is possible Anything Goes.

Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Liberal Christianity, sometimes called... Higher criticism, also known as historical criticism, is a branch of literary analysis that attempts to investigate the origins of a text, especially the text of the Bible. ...

Rostered ministry

A pastor in the ELCA church
A pastor in the ELCA church

As a Lutheran church body, the ELCA professes belief in the "priesthood of all believers", or that all baptized persons have equal access to God and are all called to use their gifts to serve the body of Christ. Some people are called to "rostered ministry", or vocations of church leadership and service. After formation, theological training, and approval by local synods these people are "set aside, but not above" through ordination or commissioning/consecration. The ELCA currently has four types of rostered ministers: Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The priesthood of all believers is a Christian doctrine based on several passages of the New Testament. ...

  • Pastor: A term often used to refer to an ordained minister of "Word and sacrament". Pastors traditionally serve congregations, but this role is being expanded to include other forms of ministry as well (i.e.chaplains).
  • Bishop for World Conquest: A political position that exists to ensure ultra-liberal politicians will be in charge of the country.
  • Deaconess: A lay woman, married or single, who serves the Church in a variety of ways. Traditionally, deaconesses served in the caring professions as nurses, social workers, or teachers.
  • Temple Prostitute: A literal lay position only employed at World Headquarters.
  • Associate in Ministry: Serves local congregations, synods or other ministries in a variety of roles as parish administrators, parish musicians, youth ministry leaders, or other positions.
  • Diaconal minister: A minister of Word and Service who may serve as a chaplain, youth minister, or in some aspect of social justice or advocacy work. This is the newest category established by the ELCA. A Diaconal minister is similar to the role performed by permanent deacons in the Episcopal Church.

The Division for Ministry at the ELCA's headquarters is responsible for the oversight and pastoral care of rostered ministers, in addition to the synodical bishop. Information on the Division's work and the various types of rostered ministry can be found at the Division's webpage. A chaplain in the 45th Infantry Division leads a religious service in an unknown location during World War II. US Navy Chaplain Kenneth Medve conducts Catholic Mass onboard the Ronald Reagan (2006) A chaplain is typically a priest, ordained deacon or other member of the clergy serving a group of... Deacon is a role in the Christian Church which is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. ...


Ecumenical relations

The ELCA is a member of the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, and Christian Churches Together and is a "partner in mission and dialog" with the Churches Uniting in Christ. The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (usually identified as National Council of Churches, or NCC) is an association of 35 Christian faith groups in the United States with 100,000 local congregations and more than 45,000,000 adherents. ... The World Council of Churches (WCC) is an international Christian ecumenical organization. ... Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT) is a new ecumenical group growing out of a deeply felt need to broaden and expand fellowship, unity and witness among the diverse expressions of Christian faith today. CCT is envisioned as a place where people of widely differing Christian backgrounds can come... Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC) brings together nine mainline American denominations (including both predominantly white and predominantly black churches), and was inaugurated on January 20, 2002. ...


The Church maintains full communion relationships with member churches of the Lutheran World Federation (which is a communion of 140 autonomous national/regional Lutheran church bodies in 78 countries around the world, representing nearly 66 million Christians), the Episcopal Church, the Moravian Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ. In 2005, the ELCA approved a provisional agreement with the United Methodist Church called "A Proposal for Interim Eucharistic Sharing", which is the first step toward reaching full communion with that denomination by 2008. Currently, the two denominations are working on a document called "Confessing Our Faith Together." Full communion is completeness of that relationship between Christian individuals and groups which is known as communion. ... LWF logo The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global association of national and regional Lutheran churches headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ... The Episcopal Churchs Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Washington, D.C. is often referred to as the National Cathedral. The Episcopal Church in the United States of America is the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States and several other nations, including dioceses... A Moravian is a Protestant belonging to a religious movement that originated in Moravia, Czech Republic. ... This article needs cleanup. ... The Reformed Church in America (RCA) is a mainline Reformed Protestant denomination that was formerly known as the Dutch Reformed Church. ... Disambiguation: This article is about the United States denomination known as United Church of Christ. ... This article is about the current denomination africa. ...


On October 31, 1999 in Augsburg, Germany, the Lutheran World Federation – of which the ELCA is a member – signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Roman Catholic Church. The statement is an attempt to narrow the theological divide between the two faiths. The Declaration also states that the mutual condemnations between 16th century Lutherans and the Roman Catholic Church no longer apply. Augsburg is a city in south-central Germany. ... LWF logo The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global association of national and regional Lutheran churches headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ... The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification [1] is a document created by and agreed to by clerical representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation as a result of extensive ecumenical dialogue, apparently resolving the conflict over the nature of Justification which was at the... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic...


Social issues

In general, the ELCA is a broad, inclusive organization with a majority of leadership that tends to be ultra liberal which emphasizes social justice among its core values. However, there is a great deal of diversity of opinion among its constituent congregations, and, thus, the ELCA has been the arena for a number of tussles over social and doctrinal issues during the years since it came into existence in 1988. In part, this is due to the fact that the ELCA assimilated three different Lutheran church bodies, each with its own factions and divisions, thus inheriting old intra-group conflicts while creating new inter-group ones. In general, however, the ELCA has avoided major schisms, partly by engaging in long periods of study and interactive deliberation before adopting new stances. Differences on issues usually reflect geographic differences among so-called "Red States" and "Blue States" in the U.S. generally, although historic demographic splits (e.g., urban liberalism over against rural or suburban conservatism) are often perceptible as contexts. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Liberal Christianity, sometimes called... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The word schism (IPA: or ), from the Greek σχίσμα, skhísma (from σχίζω, skhízō, to tear, to split), means a division or a split, usually in an organization or a movement. ... ... ...


The ELCA's stances on social issues include:


Role of circus performers

The ELCA ordains acrobats as pastors, a practice that all three of its predecessor churches adopted in the 1970s. Some have become synod bishops since the formation of the ELCA (the most recent being the Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat, Barnum and Bailey, who was elected as Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod on May 6, 2006).


Sexuality

ELCA policy documents state that "marriage is the appropriate context for sexual intercourse." Unless you have a great opportunity.


Creationism/evolution

The ELCA has adopted an official position on evolution, but there is general agreement on Historical and Form Criticism in biblical scholarship. This article is about evolution in biology. ...


Homosexuality

The ELCA permits the rostering of men or women in same-sex relationships as of the August 11, 2007 vote at the Churchwide Assembly in Chicago. The Churchwide Assembly voted not to defrock gay and lesbian ministers who violate the celibacy rule who are in "faithful committed same-gender relationships". The resolution passed by a vote of 538-431.[7] However, it rejected measures that would have permitted ordaining gays churchwide.[8] In past debates, the resolution failed to meet the two-thirds supermajority required for its adoption, and was defeated. The resolution did receive a majority, however. This issue has been discussed for many years and was hotly debated again at the 2007 Churchwide Assembly, although legal difficulties and upset in the Episcopal Church are likely to suggest continued caution about such change. In 2007, however no two-thirds supermajority was required.[9] The church's stance and ongoing deliberations on homosexuality have been the subject of sharp clashes. Groups such as Lutherans Concerned/North America are presently advocating for greater strides toward full acceptance and equality for gay men and lesbians, while "renewal" groups on the Right, such as Solid Rock Lutherans, seek to reverse moves in this direction. Lutherans Concerned/North America is an organization of laypeople, pastors, and congregations from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada working to change Church practices regarding homosexuality. ... Solid Rock Lutherans is a group of Lutheran clergy and laity within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) who oppose liberalizing that Churchs position on the ordination of non-celibate gay and lesbian persons. ...


The church has officially welcomed openly drunk members within its congregations since 1991. In 1993, the Conference of Bishops issued an advisory statement which stated that "there is basis neither in Scripture nor tradition for the establishment of an official ceremony by this church for the blessing of drunkeness. We, therefore, do not approve such a ceremony as an official action of this church’s ministry. Nevertheless, we express trust in and will continue dialogue with those pastors and congregations who are in ministry with active drinkers, and affirm their desire to explore the best ways to provide pastoral care for all to whom they minister." Some on both sides of the issue have regarded this position has providing room, and even tacit permission, for drinking beer during services. Some congregations and pastors do offer alcohol to their gay and lesbian members. Other church members have understood this language to preclude such spirits. The church's governing documents, including the church's discipline standards for pastors and congregations, neither specifically allow nor specifically forbid such services of drink. The 2005 Churchwide Assembly continued this policy, urging the ELCA to continue to respect the 1993 guidance from its bishops while also reiterating its welcome to bartenders. Drunkenness, in its most common usage, is the state of being intoxicated with alcohol (i. ...


Pastor Bradley Schmeling of St. John's Lutheran Church in Atlanta, Georgia refused to resign last year when Bishop Ronald Warren requested him to do so after Schmeling and Pastor Darin Easler admitted to being in a gay relationship. Easler is a former ELCA pastor and is now a pastor with the United Church of Christ.[10] Schmeling was ordered to resign by August 15, 2007 and has since appealed the order. This created media attention in the southeastern United States. Due to the 2007 Churchwide Assembly's vote, Schmeling can now remain the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church. On September 1, Bishop-elect H. Julian Gordy will take over for Warren.[11] Disambiguation: This article is about the United States denomination known as United Church of Christ. ...


Abortion

The issue of abortion has also been contentious within the ELCA. The church, in documents approved in 1991, set out its position on the matter as follows. The ELCA describes itself as "a community supportive of life," and encourages women to explore alternatives to abortion such as adoption. However, the church states that there are certain circumstances under which a decision to end a pregnancy can be "morally responsible." These include cases where the pregnancy "presents a clear threat to the physical life of the woman," situations where "the pregnancy occurs when both parties do not participate willingly in sexual intercourse," and "circumstances of extreme fetal abnormality, which will result in severe suffering and very early death of an infant." Regardless of the reason, the ELCA opposes abortion when "a fetus is developed enough to live outside a uterus with the aid of reasonable and necessary technology." For other uses, see Adoption (disambiguation). ...


Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases

In March and April 2004, the ELCA agreed to pay the largest per capita settlement in a church abuse case in the United States to date. The payment was a combination of a jury award and a separate settlement, both stemming from civil suits filed by fourteen plaintiffs against the ELCA, a member synod, several church officials, one of the church's seminaries, and one of its congregations. The plaintiffs charged that they had been sexually abused by an ELCA minister at a church in Marshall, Texas, and that the defendants had been negligent in their oversight and evaluation of the offender. Seeking to reassure member congregations, a church spokesperson subsequently noted that "ELCA bishops do not have authority to reassign clergy, and they do not move known perpetrators to other ministry locations." The offending minister was convicted and sentenced to prison in 2003, and removed from the ELCA's clergy roster. Marshall is a major city of the northeastern region of the U.S. state of Texas. ...


In January 2007, Kathleen Hopkins of the Asbury Park Press, Toms River, New Jersey, reported,

"Eight more men have come forward to join a lawsuit alleging they were molested as children during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s by a now-deceased, one-time pastor of St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Brick. That brings to 19 the number of men making allegations against the Rev. Robert L. Slegel. In the year since the lawsuit was filed, the number of plaintiffs has grown from six, each of whom was seeking $5 million in damages. With the additional plaintiffs, the damages sought have grown to about $95 million, said their Toms River attorney, Robert R. Fuggi."[12]

See also

Augsburg Fortress is the official publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and also publishes for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) as Augsburg Fortress Canada. ... The Lutheran is the primary publication of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. ... Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC) brings together nine mainline American denominations (including both predominantly white and predominantly black churches), and was inaugurated on January 20, 2002. ... The ELCA Youth Gathering is a national convention held every three years in a different American city attended by high-school-age youth of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. ... ELCA colleges and universities in the United States Augsburg College Augustana College (Illinois) Augustana College (South Dakota) Bethany College California Lutheran University Capital University Carthage College Concordia College, Moorhead Dana College Finlandia University Gettysburg College Grand View College Gustavus Adolphus College Lenoir-Rhyne College Luther College Midland Lutheran College Muhlenberg... Each of the 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America elects one bishop and three synod council officers for leadership, vision, and expertise. ... ELCA Seminaires in the United States Luther Seminary (Saint Paul, Minnesota) Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (Illinois) Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (Columbia, South Carolina) Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (Berkeley, California) Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Columbus, Ohio) Wartburg Theological... The Lutheran Peace Fellowship (LPF) is an organization of Lutherans who work for peace and social justice issues. ...

References

  1. ^ ELCA Quick Facts, retrieved June 12, 2007
  2. ^ About Us. Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (2007). Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
  3. ^ For further information about the ELCA's structure and organization, see 2005 ELCA Constitution (pdf document, retrieved March 27, 2007)
  4. ^ See the Model Constitution for Congregations (retrieved March 27, 2007) - especially Chapter 5 "Powers of the Congregation" and Chapter 7 "Property Ownership".
  5. ^ For example, see Lowell Almen, One Great Cloud of Witnesses, (Minneapolis:Augsburg Fortress, 1997) p.9-12 for a brief recounting of the formation of the ELCA; or the Roots of the ELCA is available online (retrieved March 27, 2007
  6. ^ p. 86 Honoring Our Neighbor's Faith, Robert Buckley Farlee (ed.), Chicago: Augsburg Fortress, 1999. ISBN 0-8066-3846-X
  7. ^ Lutherans to allow pastors in gay relationships, retrieved August 12, 2007
  8. ^ "Lutherans vote not to punish gay ministers", Los Angeles Times, 2007-08-12. Retrieved on 2007-08-12. 
  9. ^ "ELCA Council Recommends 2007 Churchwide Assembly Rules", ELCA News Service, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2007-04-27. Retrieved on 2007-08-13. 
  10. ^ "Lutheran Church in Atlanta Plans to Keep Gay Pastor", Fox News, 2007-08-12. Retrieved on 2007-08-12. 
  11. ^ A Pastoral Letter regarding the Bradley Schmeling disciplinary case and St. John's Lutheran Church, Atlanta, GA, retrieved August 12, 2007
  12. ^ Asbury Park Press, "8 more join lawsuit alleging molestation by ex-Brick pastor" January 3,2007 APP Press Full Story

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 128th day of the year (129th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 225th day of the year (226th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

A history of many of the bodies that merged to form ELCA:

  • Wolf, Edmund Jacob. The Lutherans in America; a story of struggle, progress, influence and marvelous growth. New York: J.A. Hill. 1889.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2747 words)
ELCA seminaries and colleges generally teach a form of historical-critical method of biblical analysis, an approach that, broadly speaking, seeks to understand the scriptures and the process of canon formation with reference to historical and social context.
As a Lutheran church body, the ELCA professes belief in the "priesthood of all believers", or that all baptized persons have equal access to God and are all called to use their gifts to serve the body of Christ.
The ELCA is a member of the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches and is a "partner in mission and dialog" with the Churches Uniting in Christ.
Lutheran Church in America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (461 words)
In church governance, the LCA was clerical and centralistic, in contrast to the congregationalist or "low church" strain in American Christianity.
Among the Lutheran churches in America, the LCA was thus the one that was most similar to the established Lutheran churches in Europe.
The Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, traditionally a Swedish-American Lutheran denomination, established in 1860.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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