In 2020, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)  agreed to resume a bilateral dialogue. The Disciples of Christ and the ELCA met for the first time in April 2004 with an initial series of papers exploring a common understanding of communion and baptism, under the theme of “the Role, Place, and Power of the Sacraments and the Confessions in Shaping Our Identities as Church.” A great deal of agreement was reached at this first meeting, and initially, the model of discourse was regarded to be the next step in this relationship. This initial dialogue round was an attempt to seek full communion between the two churches. Subsequent rounds were delayed, however, due to staffing transitions and changes in leadership.

  • News Release, May 2020

Pre-Dialogue Meeting

September 28, 2020

A preliminary meeting was held to discuss the bilateral dialogue resumption. Participating were Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the ELCA; General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens; Bishop Don Kreiss, chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops EIR Committee; Disciples historian Mark Toulouse; Kathryn Lohre, Assistant to the Presiding Bishop and Executive for the Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations  & Theological Discernment; and Paul Tche, President of the Christian Unity and Interfaith Ministry. The agenda focused on building relationships, sharing the history, and exploring theological differences, including each tradition’s relationship to the ancient historical creeds and understanding of ministry. The first meeting has been scheduled to be held in January 2021 on a virtual platform, picking up the original topic.

  • Full Report Download
  • Disciples Case Study Download
  • Brief Introduction to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada Download