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[LCMSNews] CTCR OKs fellowship with Kenyan church
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Tue, 2 Mar 2004 18:28:58 -0600
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March 2, 2004 .................... LCMSNews -- No. 23
CTCR backs fellowship with Kenyan church
The Commission on Theology and Church Relations is recommending
that this summer's Synod convention declare the Synod to be in altar and
pulpit fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya.
The resolution of support for fellowship with the East African
church body was adopted unanimously by the commission at its Feb. 16-18
meeting in St. Louis. A report from discussions between the two church
bodies says that doctrinal agreement exists between them.
"The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod is truly thankful to God
for the clear confession of faith given by our brothers and sisters in
Christ of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya," LCMS President
Gerald Kieschnick said following two days of meetings with ELCK
representatives Jan. 27 and 28. "The ELCK and the LCMS, while existing
in countries vastly different from one another, are remarkably alike in
our understanding of the life-transforming activity of the Triune God
through Word and Sacrament."
The Jan. 27-28 meeting in St. Louis was the second for formal
doctrinal discussions between representatives of the two church bodies.
On Nov. 26, LCMS First Vice President Daniel Preus and Rev. Kenneth
Greinke, interim regional director for Africa with LCMS World Mission,
met with ELCK leaders in Nairobi, Kenya.
"By God's grace, we expect that together we will strengthen and
stand one with the other on the faith we are called to witness to within
our respective church bodies and hence also within world Christendom,"
ELCK Presiding Bishop Walter Obare said after the January meeting. Obare
led a three-member ELCK delegation to that meeting.
The ELCK has some 70,000 members in 440 congregations, which are
served by 110 pastors and 185 trained evangelists who work under the
Synod Bylaws require the CTCR's approval before a Synod
convention considers recognition of altar and pulpit fellowship with
another church body.
In other business at the Feb. 16-18 meeting, the CTCR:
* completed a review of "That They May Be One," a document
signed by a number of LCMS pastors and laymen that identifies itself as
"a statement based upon Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions
concerning church fellowship and public prayer." The CTCR's review is
being sent to the Council of Presidents (COP), which had requested it in
June 2002 after the document's authors and distributors asked the COP to
examine it. COP Chairman C. William Hoesman said the CTCR's review will
be discussed at the COP's next meeting, which begins April 23.
* continued work on "Guidelines for Participation in Civic
Events." CTCR Executive Director Samuel H. Nafzger said that the
commission spent much of its Feb. 16-18 meeting revising a draft of the
guidelines that was shared with the COP. The revision is based on
consultation with the COP in early February.
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