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Update - October 2013

From Don McCoid and Kathryn Lohre

NCC Governing Board

The Governing Board met at the churchwide offices September 23-24. The Search Committee for the new GS/President narrowed the pool of candidates. The first day of the meeting was an ecclesiology consultation to explore the role of conciliar life in a rapidly changing ecclesial, ecumenical, and inter-religious context. The second day opened with a prayer service commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, after which the Board conducted its business, including a first reading of the new bylaws. The Board will meet again in November to adopt the new bylaws, to move into the new Governing Board of Heads of Communion, and to elect a new GS/President.

North American Academy of Ecumenists

The Academy met at our churchwide offices at the end of September. There are several ELCA persons in leadership. The theme was THE EMERGING FACE OF BEING ONE: Exploring Various Models of Christian Unity. There were very diverse presentations, including the Mormons.

Visitor from Finland

The Rev. Jukka Keskitalo, director general of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, made a visit to the Lutheran Center with his colleague in late September. He oversees the central administration of the church. We enjoyed time for fellowship and sharing about the churches, including the topics of the churches’ mission in the modern world, and the churches’ models for working in a time of rapid change.

Declaration on the Way

An organizing meeting for the Declaration on the Way was held by conference call on September 30. Assignments were made in the three areas: ecclesiology, ministry, and the Eucharist.

Conference of Bishops’ Meeting

This early-October meeting centered around Bishop Hanson’s last meeting and the installation of Bishop Eaton. Bishop Hanson provided a strong emphasis on ecumenism. With the number of new bishops, it is obvious that there is a change in the Conference.

Bishop Eaton

Presiding Bishop Eaton's installation was attended by a number of ecumenical and inter-religious guests, including full communion partners, global leaders (including the newly-elected Archbishop of Sweden, Antje Jackelen) and inter-religious partners including David Inlander representing the AJC, Amarjit Kaur representing the World Sikh Council – America Region, and Sayyid Sayeed representing ISNA.

As a follow-up, the WSC-AR asked if we would have interest in a preliminary conversation about a possible Lutheran-Sikh bi-lateral dialogue. We discussed this exciting opportunity with Bishop Eaton, and she has given her blessing for us to proceed in having the preliminary conversation.


The Committee on Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs of the USCCB held its meeting at the Lutheran Center on October 8. Bishop Eaton was invited to bring greetings.

Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign

A call-in for synod bishops and leaders was held on October 15. Bishops and/or synod leaders from Nebraska, Montana, SE Michigan, and SEPA were present. In addition to learning about the campaign and its resources, there was an opportunity for sharing from local contexts. The LERN board is invited to consider whether a similar call in would be helpful for its work.

Episcopal Church Executive Council

The Executive Council met at the ELCA offices from October 15-17. Various staff members presented to committees. Bishop Hanson offered a welcome that included how close our two churches are and what we are doing together in mission and ministry.

From Conflict to Communion

This report from the Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity may be downloaded from LWF:

Feel free to access it, read it, and seek local conversation. One bishop bought three books to share with bishops on his territory and invite conversation.

Christian-Jewish Leadership Summit

The summit has been set for March 27. Bishop Hanson will continue as co-convener with Rabbi Steve Gutow, and Bishop Eaton will also participate. We are very encouraged that this date has been set.

Board Meeting Highlights

Shoulder-To Shoulder

Several Bishops were trained at a one-hour phone session this past week through this organization that promotes Christian/Muslim relations. Shall we do a Board and/or Network also receive such resourcing?

We discussed the possibility of such resourcing to be available at a National Worship, possibly as part of our LERN Plenary, or as part of the Lutheran/Episcopal/Methodist Joint Plenary. Rocky will explore this option with the heads of the other Networks. Also, Kathryn will facilitate a phone-workshop with the Board.

From Conflict to Communion

We decided as a Board to read this document on Lutheran / Roman Catholic relations, and discuss it at the November board mtg. Don suggested that we first read the Foreword, and then the Five Imperatives (at the end of the document), then read the document. Tom is suggesting that LERN and the Catholic and Diocesan Ecumenical Officers Network have some time at a National Workshop to converse together using this document as a key piece.


At this next National Workshop, the schedule will be changed, so that our joint plenary (Lutheran/Episcopalian/Methodist) will take place when CADEIO has their continuing education sessions, so that we (LERN) can be in attendance with their (CADEIO) Plenary. This is a beginning for Lutheran / Roman Catholic conversations for the next three National Workshop events.

Financial Concerns

Wayne asked that as we look toward the next National Workshop, we explore options to help fund LERN members’ travel to the Workshop. Too many of our group are not financially supported, and cannot attend due to finances. One option is to create a format in which ecumenically-minded laity in our synods could support their local LERN members. 

On a different level, we are becoming more electronic, so possibly LERN members who are not present at a National Workshop will be able to be present, receiving the “streaming” of the session. This will be on the agenda in November.

Kristi & Eileen reported that we have $855 in our LERN account. 

The LERN Blog

Chris is seeking articles for the blog. Please contact him with ideas or submissions ( There have been almost 500 visits to the blog already. 

Next Board Phone Meeting - Friday, November 15, 2014


  1. I've been traveling for Global Mission (Cuba and the Consultation in Bogota of Lutheran churches in the Western Hemisphere), so I missed this when it came out. The NAAE was wonderfully hosted at the Churchwide Offices; thank you Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations! Don McCoid participated. One correction, though: the Mormons were not present. Dale Luffman of Community in Christ Church was a presenter. Community in Christ was once know as the Reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints (Independence MO); however, while it regards the Book of Mormon as a religious source, it is not part of the Mormon church and does regard itself in that way. Go to for more info on NAAE. Russell Meyer, Florida-Bahamas


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