From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCA Assembly Declines Exception on Installation of Bishops

Date Sun, 17 Aug 2003 10:11:23 -0500


August 17, 2003

ELCA Assembly Declines Exception on Installation of Bishops

     MILWAUKEE (ELCA) -- The 2003 Churchwide Assembly of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Aug. 16 declined to
propose constitutional changes requested by two ELCA synods that
would permit those seeking installation as bishops in the ELCA to
do so without the participation of bishops in the "historic
     Without debate, the assembly adopted the recommendations of
the memorials committee on that and two other categories of
memorials -- resolutions from the church's synods -- that were
handled individually, as well as adopting with one action 26
categories of memorials "en bloc."
     The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of
the ELCA, is meeting here Aug. 11-17 at the Midwest Airlines
Center. There are about 2,100 people participating, including
1,031 ELCA voting members. The theme for the biennial assembly is
"Making Christ Known: For the Healing of the World."
     Memorials submitted by the ELCA Minneapolis Area and South
Dakota synods were adopted in response to the agreement that
governs the full-communion relationship of the ELCA and the
Episcopal Church.  That agreement says that ELCA bishops "will be
installed for pastoral service of the gospel with this church's
intention to enter the ministry of the historic episcopate."
     Although the historic episcopate and the agreement with the
Episcopal Church has generated considerable discussion in the
ELCA in recent years, there was no discussion or debate before
the 2003 Churchwide Assembly voted 850 to 79 to decline the
constitutional-change proposals.  The assembly did refer the two
synod memorials "as information" to the ELCA Department for
Ecumenical Affairs and to the Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating
     Other recommendations adopted by the assembly without
     + to "encourage all congregations and synods to engage all
members, particularly voting members of synodical and churchwide
assemblies, in learning, discussion, and discernment about
pending decisions by this church, actions taken, and the reasons
for this."  The action responded to an ELCA Montana Synod concern
that voting members represent the viewpoints of their respective
congregations and synods.
     + it acknowledged its own earlier action retaining a
constitutional reference to the ELCA Slovak Zion Synod -- the
church's only non-geographical synod -- as its response to a
memorial from that synod asking that the reference indeed be
-- -- --
Information about the ELCA Churchwide Assembly can be found at
http://www.elca/org/assembly/03 on the Web.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home