“Leaving the ELCA” series

Study Resources

photo of old mine shaft with light at the end

There is light at the end of the tunnel...







We offer the following documents and links as information worthy of careful consideration by all who are troubled by the events, policy, and general direction of the ELCA. We are not trying to present a balanced representation of resources for study here. It will be necessary to refer to the ELCA website and other related site to balance research, but we have done our best to provide creditable and accountable information advocating leaving the ELCA for the sake of individual and congregational health and well-being.

Materials for Study

Careful study of the issues at hand is the first and most important work of those who are considering leaving the ELCA. For those who have been considering these matters for years, the 2009 Church Wide Assembly adjustments to ministry policy are only the most recent, albeit flagrant, false teaching emerging from a theologically decaying church body. It is vital that the many issues and problems be well understood to broaden the understanding of why leaving is necessary and to help guard against repeating the mistakes as we form new Lutheran Churches.

Handouts and Brochures

The following items may be useful to reprint and hand out to attendees at meetings and forums designed to promote open discussion about the issues prompting individuals and congregations to leave the ELCA.

Helpful Sola Publications for Study

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Through Sola Publications WordAlone has developed quality study resources for use in congregations to help consider the issues underlying the need to leave the ELCA. These resources are available at minimal cost from Sola Publishing. To order call Toll Free: (888)-887-9840 or Metro Twin Cities: (612)-216-2055. You can find out more about Sola Publishing at http://www.solapublishing.org.

By What Authority
graphic representation of WordAlone book cover

This is a book about the end of traditional Christianity as practiced in modern times. Not a futuristic end, but an end already accomplished, or partially accomplished in a majority of countries, cities and churches. Strange as it seems, many Christians haven't noticed. But others were so concerned they've gathered in these pages the wisdom of alert pastors, theologians, laity, young seminarians and evangelicals. They all have a story to tell you in their own voices and it's a story so urgent and timely it opens your eyes in ways few might imagine. May you have "ears to hear" and mouths to proclaim the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Cost is $14.95.

graphic representation of Three Keys book
Three Keys to What Lutherans Believe
Product Code: A-2010
Participant's Book: $3.99 each + tax

This three-session study was written to serve as a basic introduction to Lutheran theology. By focusing on key biblical concepts, it demonstrates the primary themes that Lutherans emphasize in thinking about the Christian faith and the teachings of Scripture. The study may be particularly suited to new member classes, adult baptismal or confirmation instruction, or for use with young adults. For use in shorter sessions, leaders may choose to divide each lesson into two parts to create a six-week study! Ordering this study would be a good "starter sample" in the use of Sola materials.

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We Still Believe — A Seven Session Bible Study on Lutheran Themes in the Common Confession
Product Codes: A-7010 Participant’s Book: $6.99 each + tax
A-7015 Leader's Guide: $6.99 each + tax

This Bible study is offered as a resource for reflecting on key themes in biblical Lutheran doctrine that are at risk in the Church today. It is offered in the hope that it will inspire individuals and congregations to examine the core beliefs of traditional Lutheranism and how these beliefs apply to our own present context. Written in a question and discussion style by Pastor Steven King, the participant’s book includes an introduction to and copy of the faith statement known as the Common Confession. Each session is built around two foundational Scripture texts and several additional Bible readings, with a reader’s introduction and a number of discussion questions. The leader’s guide, by pastors Steven King and Scott Block, also includes background essays written by members of the Lutheran Core Steering Committee.

Click HERE to read the introductory pages and see a sample session in a downloadable PDF document.

Note: The Common Confession is a basic seven-part statement of faith that is shared by the WordAlone Network, Lutheran Core, NALC, as well as hundreds of individuals, congregations, local reform groups throughout North America. This study would serve as an excellent tool to be used by pastors, lay-leaders, and congregations in discussing the theological issues that are at stake within Lutheran denominations in our present day. The study represents the historical Christian position on these issues, and focuses on the biblical basis for what Lutherans have believed and taught for centuries.

graphic representation of What About Homosexuality book
“Topical Reader” Series:
What About Homosexuality? What the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions Have to Say
Product Code: T-2010 Participant's Book: $3.99 each + tax

Written by Pastor William Bakewicz, this brief booklet is suitable for introductory reading or as the basis for a discussion of Scripture. The book looks specifically at what the Bible and Lutheran doctrine have to say on the subject of homosexual behavior and orientation. It explores the topic from a theological perspective, and gives advice on how to respond in faith. Each of the four chapters includes a few questions for reflection. The booklet is produced and distributed on behalf of the WordAlone Network.

graphic representation of Augsburg Confession study
A Reading & Discussion Study of The Augsburg Confession

Product Codes:
L-5010 Participant Book: $7.99 each + tax
L-5015 Leader's Guide: $5.99 each + tax

Made as a confession of faith during the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, the Augsburg Confession outlines the doctrinal teachings of the original Lutheran reformers. At the same time, it serves as a theological resource and statement of faith for Lutheran churches today.

Click HERE to read the introductory pages and see a sample session.
graphic representation of Luther's Catechisms book
A Reading & Discussion Study of Luther's Catechisms
Product Codes:
L-5020 Participant Book $7.99
L-5025 Leader's Guide $5.99
Participant's Book: $3.99 each + tax

Written by Martin Luther as simple guides for instruction in the Christian faith, the Small and Large Catechisms address texts and themes that are basic to Christian life and worship. Luther's Catechisms continue to serve as theological resources and teaching tools for Lutheran congregations.

Additional helpful information

Procedural Advice

As we find specific items of advice regarding the process of disaffiliation from the ELCA we will list them in this section.

Best Practice Examples

Here are some documents that represent good practices for communications, teaching, and actions for those seeking to disaffiliate from the ELCA.

Affiliation Websites Maintained by Congregations

One of the best sources of information is from congregations that are actually in the disaffiliation process. Sometimes these congregations maintain websites to inform their members and to share information with other interested parties. Here are some congregational websites that you may find helpful.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Maumee, OH


This site features notes and documents that the affiliation team at St. Paul’s shared during a conference they held for area congregations called, “Matters of the Heart CORE Conference.”

First Evangelical Church, Idaho Falls, ID


This site tells the story of a congregation’s struggle with division over the problematic issues of this debate. It presents creative solutions for dealing with division that may be helpful in other congregations.

Affiliation Options – Faithful Church Bodies Recommended by WordAlone Ministries

The following affiliation organizations and church bodies have agreed to work in partnership to further the mission of Jesus Christ as commanded in the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16 – 20). Together they represent some excellent choices for affiliation for individuals and congregations leaving the ELCA and the ELCIC (Canada’s counterpart to the ELCA). All of these affiliations are easy to get into and out of. Further they can be used in almost any combination to meet individual or congregation needs.

Canadian Association of Lutheran Congregations

Calc is a faithful expression of Biblical and Confessional Lutheranism created by Canadians for furthering the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its theological principles and church structure is very similar to LCMC. It has a valuable resource, “Federal Incorporation,” granted by the Canadian Government enabling it to serve as an church body for its congregations in all provinces.

For more information: www.calc.ca/index.htm

Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ

Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is an association of congregations and individuals who are: free in Christ; accountable to one another; rooted in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions; working together to fulfill Christ's Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations.

For more information: www.lcmc.net/

Lutheran CORE

The over-arching goal of Lutheran CORE is to be a voice for the Word of God within the church. We are, therefore, a confessing and confessional movement within the Lutheran church. We seek the renewal of Lutheran churches according to Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, and we endorse the Common Confession as a summary of Lutheran convictions for our time and place. Lutheran CORE is open to all who share our commitment for renewal — congregations, lay people, pastors, and other reform movements.

For more information: www.lutherancore.org

North American Lutheran Church

The NALC is being established in response to those members and friends of Lutheran CORE who have expressed a preference for completely withdrawing from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. They are looking for a Lutheran church body that stands in the tradition of the Church, is denominationally structured for leadership, oversight and accountability, enhances representative governance by congregations and affirms and supports ministry and mission at the congregational level. At its August 2010 convocation, Lutheran CORE will present a provisional constitution for the NALC, and will nominate a slate of officers for election to one-year terms. At the 2011 initial convocation of the NALC, delegates from congregations that have joined the new church will review the constitution and elect officers to full terms.

To better understand the structure and purpose of the NALC read – A Vision and Plan for The North American Lutheran Church and Lutheran CORE, a community of confessing Lutherans.

For more information: www.lutherancore.org