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, affirming the proposal of the ecumenical offices of both churches. Following a pre-dialogue consultation in 2003, both the Disciples of Christ and the ELCA affirmed plans to enter into dialogue seeking full communion. The first meeting took place 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.” Subsequent rounds were delayed, however, due to staffing transitions and changes in leadership.
- Proposal to Resume the Bilateral Dialogue between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada
- News Release, May 2020
Documents from the Previous Dialogue Sessions
September 28, 2020
Following the separate affirmation of both churches to resume the bilateral dialogue, a pre-meeting was held to discuss the developments in our relationship since 2004 and the goals of 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, 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.
Other Resources Shared:
- Brief Introduction to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada
- Ecumenism: The Vision of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- United Church of Christ-Disciples of Christ Full Communion Resolution and Documents
- A Formula of Agreement Between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ on Entering into Full Communion on the Basis of A Common Calling
2021 Dialogue Sessions
March 10, 2021
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the first meeting will be held via Zoom. This meeting is designed to introduce the participants to one another, study the previous meetings, and envision the dialogue together.