The Lutheran World Federation added more than 1.5 million new members to its member churches last year, according to the latest report.
Membership gains in Africa and Asia contributed to the approximately 2.3 percent increase, bringing the total to just over 70 million for the first time.
LWF churches in Africa saw the largest increase with the addition of more than 1.2 million members. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania is the largest LWF member church on the continent with currently 5.3 million members and the second largest LWF church in the world after Church of Sweden, which has 6.75 million members. more >>
Leaders in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on Monday approved revisions to ministry policies that would officially accommodate gay and lesbian ministers.
New language in the policies pertaining to ordination makes room in leadership for those in "publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships."
The draft proposal was drawn up during a six-day meeting by the ELCA Conference of Bishops. The meeting concluded Tuesday. more >>
The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America returned to Web stage on Sunday to take questions from a divided denomination.
Much like at the first online town hall forum in December, many of the questions at Sunday's live event focused on the recent legislative decision to allow practicing homosexuals to be ordained.
"As I presided over that churchwide assembly in August 2009, my call was not to manipulate, or advocate or intimidate. It was to make sure that this assembly was in a context of worship and prayer and holy conversations and thoughtful deliberations and decision making," said ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson in response to a question submitted on the Web. more >>
The massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile Saturday morning is not like the one that devastated Haiti in January, said a relief expert at World Vision.
Even though both monstrous quakes have caused or is expected to result in the deaths of many people, the challenges facing relief workers in each country is different, said Steve Matthews of World Vision’s global rapid response team.
“This (Chile) quake will not be like the one in Haiti,” said Matthews on Saturday. more >>
Mainline Protestant churches are the target of a new campaign that urges "loud," rather than silent, support for gays and lesbians.
Though mainline denominations already welcome LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) persons, the multifaith group Intersections says it's not enough.
"[W]e must sing their welcoming as loudly as we sing the hymns," the group declares. more >>
Lutherans who have left or are pondering their exit from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have put a name to the alternate church body they plan to form – North American Lutheran Church.
A proposal for the new denominational body that is intended to provide a biblically faithful home for disaffected Lutherans was released Thursday, on the anniversary of the death of 16th century reformer Martin Luther.
"It is fitting that these proposals are being announced on the day that the Lutheran church remembers the great reformer Martin Luther. Luther brought new life and renewal to the church of his day," said the Rev. Paull Spring of State College, Pa., chair of Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Renewal). "We pray that God will use these proposals to bring new life and renewal to the church of our day." more >>