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Open letter

—to H. George Anderson

Pastor Roger Eigenfeld (Saint Andrews Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi, Minnesota)

March 31, 2000

This is an open letter sent from Roger Eigenfeld to H. George Anderson immediately after conclusion of the WordAlone Constituting Convention, March 2000.

March 31, 2000

The Rev. Dr. H. George Anderson Presiding Bishop - ELCA 8765 Higgins Road Chicago, IL

Dear Dr. Anderson:

As you are probably aware, the WordAlone Network gathered at St. Andrew's in Mahtomedi, Minnesota on March 26 - 29, 2000 for its Constituting Convention with more than 1,200 ELCA Lutherans in attendance. A board of twelve was elected with myself being selected as the organization's first president. Governor Al Quie was elected by the board as vice president.

For four days we prayed, learned, sang, voted and listened to one another as delegates to the birthing of the WordAlone Network. We also agonized over the current state of division which the adoption of Called to Common Mission has created since the vote in Denver. I will be sending you a complete set of audio and video tapes so you can see and feel the deep devotion to our ELCA that was represented at that meeting. I also want to convey to you the conviction that we represent an opposition to CCM that will not go away. This is our church and we are not about to abandon it by simply walking away.

In the spirit of the eighteen lay members, scholars, parish pastors and bishops who gathered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 16-18, 2000 seeking a resolution to the crisis which is looming in our Church, the WordAlone Network approved the following resolution which we desire you to forward to the Church Council and to have included in the agenda of its April 2000 meeting.

WordAlone Network

RESOLUTION

DELAY IMPLEMENTATION OF CCM

WHEREAS, in February 2000 a special consultation conducted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, developed a "Common Ground Resolution" requesting that "Called to Common Mission" (CCM) be implemented in a way that allows for "full participation in the ELCA by those who cannot accept a mandatory imposition of the historic episcopate," and that implementation of CCM be delayed until after the 2001 Churchwide Assembly to allow for adoption of constitutional changes to permit recognition of bishops and pastors who are not installed or ordained in the manner required by CCM, and

WHEREAS, the Common Ground Resolution was submitted to the Presiding Bishop, the Church Council and the Conference of Bishops; and

WHEREAS, the Presiding Bishop and the Conference of Bishops of the ELCA have explicitly or implicitly rejected the Common Ground Resolution; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that WordAlone Network commends the Common Ground Resolution as a helpful step, but not a final resolve, toward greater unity in the ELCA; and be it further

RESOLVED, that WordAlone Network requests the Church Council of the ELCA, at its April 2000 meeting, to take the necessary steps to put on the agenda for the 2001 Churchwide Assembly the constitutional amendments contemplated by the Common Ground Resolution.

ADOPTED by the WordAlone Network at its Constituting Convention held on March 29, 2000 at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi, MN

A copy of this e-mail will be forwarded to you via Federal Express.

With great hopes that the ELCA leadership will respond in a positive manner to the Confessional crisis I remain,

Sincerely,

Roger C. Eigenfeld Senior Pastor - St. Andrew's Lutheran Church - Mahtomedi, MN President - WordAlone Network

Roger Eigenfeld pastors with Saint Andrews Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi, Minnesota, and serves as President of the Board of Directors of the WordAlone Network.