WordAlone - Mahtomedi Resolution
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Mahtomedi Resolution

by Betsy Carlson, Editor, WordAlone Network

February 8-9, 1999


On February 8 and 9, 1999, over 200 people gathered at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota for a conference on the historic episcopacy in the ELCA. Among the many results of their work was the following resolution, suitable for passage by your congregation, pastors' conference, or synod assembly. Over 5,000 Lutherans signed it, and it was passed by 17 Synods in the Spring of 1999. However, ELCA leadership prevented its consideration on the floor of the Churchwide Assembly that adopted CCM.

Whereas:  We affirm our commitment to the mission and ecumenical mandate given by our Lord that "all may be one" (John 17:12). In affirming such we rejoice in the unity we share with our sisters and brothers of the Episcopal Church USA; and,

Whereas:  We Lutherans confess that "It is sufficient for the true unity of the Christian church that the Gospel be preached in conformity with a pure understanding of it and that the sacraments be administered in accordance with the divine Word. It is not necessary for the true unity of the Christian church that human traditions or rites and ceremonies instituted by men should be observed uniformly in all places. It is as Paul says in Ephesians 4:4-5, 'There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism.'" (Augsburg Confession Article 7); and,

Whereas:  The document "Called to Common Mission" (Nov. 1998) declares that the ELCA asserts that the historic episcopate is not necessary (CCM 18), it nevertheless requires that we adopt the historic episcopate as a condition for fellowship with the Episcopal Church USA, thereby, in reality, asserting that it is necessary; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED that _______________________________of ________________, ___________________________recommend that the 1999 Churchwide Assembly reject the document "Called to Common Mission"; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we reaffirm our commitment to continue to work together with our Episcopal neighbors in common faith and mission, gathering at the Lord's Table and sharing in each other's ministry which is our practice under the guidelines of the Interim Agreement for Eucharistic Sharing (1982) between our two churches: and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we acknowledge the ordination of Episcopal clergy, and welcome them to serve in ELCA parishes or pastoral positions, preaching and teaching in a manner that is consistent with the ELCA's "Confession of Faith" as written in Chapter Two of the Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions of the ELCA.