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Tent just got bigger!

by John Beem (Chairman, WordAlone Board)

News: December 19, 2005

If you are concerned about some of the directions the ELCA is traveling...and if you care about the future of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America...and if you want to be of service to the denomination...this may be of interest to you.

On Nov. 6-8 during a WordAlone Network theological conference in Brooklyn Park, Minn., representatives from churches took another step toward forming an association of congregations tentatively named Lutheran Churches of The Common Confession. To join a congregation needs simply to accept The Common Confession and vote as a congregation to join.

Take note of the following:

  1. WordAlone congregations are invited to join.
  2. Congregations in the nearly two dozen renewal movements within the ELCA are encouraged to join. In doing so they do not leave their renewal movements nor do they have to join WordAlone.
  3. Congregations who are neither members of WordAlone nor one of the other renewal movements also are invited to join. By joining, a congregation does not leave the ELCA or synod, nor does it have to make any changes to its constitution.
  4. Member congregations simply are joining an expanded effort to bring renewal and reform to the ELCA.

The Common Confession does not take the place of the Augsburg Confession or any of the other Lutheran confessions. It simply lifts up areas of concern where the ELCA is at risk of conflicting with the Scriptures, Creeds, the Lutheran confessions and its confession of faith.

Of most concern are the following:

  1. Theology drifting outside the boundaries of orthodox Christian faith and doctrine.
  2. Reaching out evangelistically with the goal of conversion to Christ. This is both a global mission and home mission concern.
  3. Naming God traditionally.
  4. Preserving a confessional, Lutheran and Biblical center in theological education.
  5. Ministering to youth with the Bible as the anchor.
  6. Retaining the traditional Scriptural understanding of marriage and the family.

In our area, Alexandria, Minn., our WordAlone chapter is inviting all WordAlone members to come to an informational meeting. At this meeting, they will be asked to get as many individuals as possible to sign petitions in their respective congregations requesting their church councils endorse thorough congregational studies and discussions of the concerns. The petitions will include a proposition to have congregations vote on joining Lutheran Churches of the Common Confession after the studies.

Not only is the call for study and a vote, but also to encourage awareness by lay persons of both the issues before our denomination and the need to pray mightily for God's guidance on behalf of His mission through their congregations and for the work of the ELCA.