The chief legislative authority of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) adopted a full communion agreement with the United Methodist Church (UMC) on Thursday by a 958-51 vote.
Under the agreement, the two church bodies express a common confession of Christian faith; mutual recognition of Baptism and sharing Holy Communion; mutual recognition of ordained ministers for service in either church; and a common commitment to evangelism, witness and service.
The two denominations also agree to freely join worship and exchange members; engage in common decision-making on critical matters; and lift criticisms that may exist between the churches. more >>
A candidate for the World Council of Churches’ top post acknowledged recently the many obstacles keeping churches from joining the ecumenical body, but spoke optimistically about the potential to overcome the differences.
During an interview with a German newspaper, the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit of the Church of Norway (Lutheran) noted how Catholics and Protestants have grown closer than ever before, and said he believes a shared communion will one day be possible.
said he hopes Protestants and Catholics, Pentecostal and mainline churches, and Lutherans and Baptists can all work out their differences and worship together. more >>
Christian advocates for a world free of nuclear weapons said Tuesday that they were encouraged by the commitment of Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev to slash nuclear stockpiles by about a third though some pointed out that the move is not enough.
“It is heartening that the leaders of the United States and Russia have now made a preliminary agreement and public commitment to achieve specific cuts in each country's stockpiles of strategic nuclear weapons,” expressed the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches. more >>
The committee responsible for finding the World Council of Churches’ next general secretary has announced the selection of two candidates who will vie to lead the ecumenical church body.
After three days of interviews and thorough discussions, the committee decided by consensus to propose the Rev. Dr Park Seong-won of the Presbyterian Church of Korea and the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit of the Church of Norway (Lutheran) for election by the Central Committee during its meeting in August 2009.
"The search committee worked in a good spirit of cooperation and Christian fellowship,” reported Dr. Agnes Abuom, the moderator of the search committee, which this week interviewed six “highly qualified candidates” identified at its last meeting in April. more >>
Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrated the Pentecost on Sunday, one week after their Western counterparts had.
Pentecost, which in Greek means “the fiftieth day,” is celebrated seven weeks after Easter Sunday, or 50 days after Easter if the Easter day is counted.
For Eastern Orthodox Christians, Pentecost this year fell on June 7, based on the Julian calendar. For Western churches, who calculate Easter based on the Gregorian calendar, Pentecost this year fell on May 31. more >>
The Day of Pentecost was marked by Christians around the world Sunday except for those who will be celebrating the date this coming Sunday.
Because Christians of the Western tradition had marked Easter this year on April 12, they marked Pentecost on May 31 – 7 weeks after Easter. Christians in the Eastern Orthodox Church, meanwhile, had marked Easter on April 19 and therefore will mark Pentecost on June 7.
But the hope remains that that one day all Christians will celebrate Easter (and consequently Pentecost) on the same date – aside from the coincidental overlaps between the Julian calendar followed by Orthodox churches and the Gregorian calendar followed by Western churches. more >>