The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently agreed to an "equal partnership of Christian fellowship" with the Church of Christ in Thailand, the largest Protestant denomination in the country.
The two church bodies have worked together for more than three decades and decided to ink their partnership in the spring. The bilateral agreement became effective in June.
"The Church of Christ in Thailand has taken the initiative to develop a 'Memorandum of Understanding' to guide its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America," said the Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director, ELCA Global Mission, according to the denomination's news service. "The memorandum is a sign pointing to the strong relationship between our churches, which is firmly grounded in our partnership in the gospel and our common call to mission." more >>
A Crosby, Minn., congregation voted Sunday to cut ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Immanuel Lutheran Church voted 213 to 69 to end its affiliation with the ELCA. It was church's first of two votes needed to leave the denomination.
"[W]e feel so happy that the word of God was upheld," Bob Sandin told the Brainerd Daily Dispatch. more >>
A Lutheran pastor and four congregations in South Dakota were recently censured by their bishop for affiliating with another Lutheran body.
The Rev. Frezil Westerlund of Philip, S.D., received a letter last week from the South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America informing her that she was in violation of church law.
The four churches she serves had voted to join the more "centrist" Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ and redirect funds away from the synod. At the same time, they did not vote to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. more >>
Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently rejected claims that they abandoned the authority of Scripture when the denomination opened ordination to partnered gays.
It is not true "as some are claiming, that the ELCA has abandoned or ignored the authority of Scripture. Rather, we seek to be faithful to the evangelical purpose that God intends with the Scriptures," said ELCA executive for discernment of contextual and theological issues the Rev. Marcus R. Kunz, according to the denomination's news service.
ELCA leaders met with clergy from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod – the second largest Lutheran church body after the ELCA – last month to discuss the theological implications of the pro-gay actions taken last year. more >>
A partnered gay minister who was defrocked three years ago will be reinstated to the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The ELCA Southeastern Synod approved the reinstatement of both the Rev. Bradley E. Schmeling and his partner, the Rev. Darin Easler, according to the denomination's news service on Tuesday.
"It feels like being back with the family again after a time of uncomfortable separation," said Schmeling. more >>
The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America plans to affirm to an overseas bishop that the U.S. church is committed to the centrality of the Word of God.
The Rev. Mark S. Hanson will share the statement when he meets with presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, the Rev. Alex G. Malasusa, in May, according to the ELCA News Service.
Malasusa had recently rebuked the ELCA for its liberal direction on homosexuality. more >>