|Lutheran-United Methodist dialogue timeline|
Wesley (left) and Martin Luther founded the religious traditions that
developed into The United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America.
By Linda Bloom*
August 18, 2009
1962-65—The Second Vatican Council, which promoted dialogue among
Catholics and Protestants, opened several windows for ecumenical
1977-79—First round of formal dialogue between The United Methodist
Church and Lutherans explores the sacrament of baptism. An official
statement, “A Lutheran-United Methodist Statement on Baptism,” is
1979-85—Five-session conversation between the World Methodist
Conference and Lutheran World Federation develops an official
statement, “The Church: Community of Grace,” which covers such issues
as the authority of Scripture, salvation, ministry and mission.
1985-87—Second round of United Methodist-Lutheran dialogue considers
common theology that both communions could affirm to move toward
recognition of ministries. The official statement is “Episcopacy: A
Lutheran-United Methodist Common Statement to the Church.”
1987—Three of the four Lutheran churches involved in dialogue with The
United Methodist Church -- the Lutheran Church in America, American
Lutheran Church and Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches –
merge into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Lutheran
Church-Missouri Synod remains independent.
1973-94—The Leuenberg Agreement, which started between Lutheran and
Reformed churches in Europe, expands to include the British Methodist
Church and most United Methodist churches in Europe. The agreement
affirms mutual recognition of ministry and table fellowship.
2001-07—Third round of dialogue between The United Methodist Church and
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America focuses on the understanding of
Eucharist and paves the way for full communion.
May 2005—The United Methodist Council of Bishops approves the Interim
Eucharist Sharing agreement with the Lutherans and Episcopalians.
August 2005—The Lutheran churchwide assembly, meeting in Orlando,
overwhelmingly approves the interim agreement with The United Methodist
November 2005—A working draft of “Confessing Our Faith Together: A
Statement toward Full Communion by the ELCA-UMC Bilateral Dialogue,” is
made available to churches, seminaries and individual members for
July 2006—World Methodist Conference signs on to a groundbreaking
agreement between Lutherans and Roman Catholics on the doctrine of
justification, an issue that helped create the split that formed the
April 2008—Delegates at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in
Fort Worth, Texas, approve the full communion agreement with the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Aug. 20, 2009—Evangelical Lutheran Church in America scheduled to vote
on full communion pact at churchwide assembly in Minneapolis.
*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ELCA – Bilateral Conversations
Commission on Christian Unity
By Water and the Spirit
This Holy Mystery
Interdenominational Cooperation Fund
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