Petition 81455

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ELCA/UMC Full Communion Resolution (81455-IC-NonDis-!)

Implementing Resolution for Full Communion Between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The United Methodist Church (UMC) hereby agree that in their legislative bodies there shall be one vote to accept or reject, without separate amendment, the resolutions which follow. If adopted by both churches, each church agrees to take the following measures to establish a relationship of full communion:
WHEREAS Jesus Christ calls us to unity so that the world may believe; and
WHEREAS the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The United Methodist Church share a common heritage of faith and a commitment to mission; and
WHEREAS “Confessing our Faith Together,” the report of the ELCA-UMC bilateral dialogue, affirmed that there are no church-dividing differences precluding full communion between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The United Methodist Church; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The United Methodist Church hereby:
1)    recognize in one another the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic faith as it is expressed in the Scriptures, confessed in the Church’s historic creeds, and attested to in the Lutheran Confessions and the doctrinal standards of The United Methodist Church;
2)    recognize the authenticity of each other’s Baptism and Eucharist, and extend sacramental hospitality to one another’s members;
3)    recognize the validity of our respective ministries, including:
each other’s ordination of persons to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament;
  • the authentic diaconal service of ordained deacons in the UMC and rostered lay ministers in the ELCA; and
  • each other’s polity and ministries of oversight (including the interpretation of church doctrines, discipline of members, authorization of persons for ordained and lay ministries, and provision for administrative functions);
        4)    recognize the full interchangeability and reciprocity of all ordained ministers of Word and Sacrament, subject to the constitutionally approved invitation for ministry in each other’s churches;
    5)    authorize the establishment of a joint commission to:
  • coordinate the implementation of these resolutions;
  • assist joint planning for mission;
  • facilitate consultation and common decision-making through appropriate channels in fundamental matters that the churches may face together in the future; and
  • report regularly and appropriately to each church;  
    6) direct this joint commission to:
  • develop worship materials to celebrate our churches’ full communion;
  • foster on-going theological discussion;
  • formulate joint educational materials; and
  • encourage continuing education opportunities for lay and clergy leaders regarding full communion;
    7) applaud one another’s ecumenical conversations with other church bodies acknowledging that each church remains free to pursue additional full communion agreements as each deems appropriate, so that the world may believe.
    This agreement will be actualized upon an affirmative vote by the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2008 and the church-wide Assembly of the ELCA in 2009.  

    [note: See petition 80142 for Disciplinary change and financial implications.]