One expression of the Church

by Jaynan Clark Egland (President, WordAlone Network)

June 21, 2002

Thursday through Sunday of this week, June 20 – 23, I am participating in our synod council meeting and our annual synod assembly here in the Eastern Washington Idaho Synod. I am entering the last year of my 6-year term on synod council. For years I have been reminded of the three expressions of the church and indoctrinated into accepting that my involvement at synodical and churchwide assemblies is participation in two of the three expressions.

I have expressed myself many times in regard to this ELCA merger mentality in which we find ourselves, a mentality of “three expressions” that falsifies the nature of the church as we have always understood it to be as Lutherans. And so we say it again. “The church is the assembly of all believers among whom the Gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel.” (Augsburg Confession, Article VII)

The expression of the church is the proclaimed Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church’s one true expression is the church at work in its local mission field. When I engage in meetings, debates and planning sessions I serve the church and its ministry assupport staff furthering the Church’s central mission. When we understand that we merely are in the wider structure of the church but not of it, we are free to participate and passionately express ourselves for the sake of the Gospel and its freedom.

Almost all of the resolutions coming before the Eastern Washington Idaho Synod Assembly are WordAlone concerns. In every category for election there are WordAlone members. Our regional leaders, O.B. Fjelstad and Brian Daniels, have done well in their efforts to provide opportunities for education, voice and debate on the synodical floor. I know that across the 65 synods there are other individuals involving themselves in the process. May God richly bless you and your expression!

Editor’s note: Check the Synod Assemblies page on the WordAlone website for news of resolutions that have passed at other synod assemblies. If you have news to report about a synod assembly please send it to