NALC-LCMS Discussion Group

On 15 – 16 December 2011, representatives from The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) held discussions in Saint Louis, MO, at the LCMS International Center. NALC Participants included Bishop John Bradosky, Dr. James Nestingen, Bishop Emeritus Paull Spring, Rev. Dave Wendel (Chair of Ecumenical Relationships Committee). LCMS participants included President Matthew Harrison, Vice-President Herb Mueller, Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations, Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, Executive Director of the CTCR, Rev. Larry Vogel, CTCR Staff, and Rev. John Pless, Professor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee, President of the Lutheran Church Canada (LCC) attended the LCMS-NALC discussions as an observer.

President Robert Bugbee (LCC), Bishop John Bradosky (NALC), and President Matthew Harrison (LCMS)

The NALC was constituted on August 27, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio, at a Convocation organized by the church reform movement Lutheran CORE. One year earlier, a similar gathering of Lutheran CORE had directed its leadership to develop new organizational alternatives for faithful Lutheran Christians in North America.  In response to numerous requests from congregations for the creation of a new Lutheran church body, Lutheran CORE developed A Vision and Plan for the North American Lutheran Church and Lutheran CORE, published in February 2010. The NALC largely  consists of congregations that broke away from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) primarily over the position the ELCA took regarding human sexuality. NALC consists of approximately 250 congregations.

Dr. Albert Collver and Dr. James Nestingen

The meeting between the LCMS and the NALC began with a tour of the CHI Museum at the International Center, followed by a brief discussion of the NALC’s history, and an update on the LCMS restructuring. The nature of ecumenical relations was discussed as well as issues affecting both church bodies. Future discussions are planned between the LCMS and NALC.

— Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations