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ELKB-TEC dialogue

ELKB-TEC dialogue

Dialogue Page: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bavaria and The Episcopal Church

This is a resource page for background documents related to the dialogue between the Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern - ELKB (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria) and The Episcopal Church.  

Background

The discussions between the Evangelische-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern (ELKB) and The Episcopal Church (TEC) began as the result of a meeting in June 2013 between Landesbischof Dr. Bedford-Strohm and Presiding Bishop the Most Rev. Dr. Jefferts-Schori. In their meeting, the two Presiding Bishops expressed the wish and challenge for the two churches to explore the possibility of closer communion, including, if possible, full communion with interchange of ministers and sharing of the sacraments.

A close relationship has existed for over 50 years between Episcopal Church and the ELKB in Munich, especially between the Church of the Ascension in Munich, a parish of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, and the Emmauskirche, a parish of the ELKB. Ascension has shared space in the Emmauskirche since 1970. Elsewhere in Bavaria, a similar close TEC-ELKB relationship exists with the Episcopal missions in Nuremberg and Augsburg, who also share space with ELKB parishes.

Conversations between representatives of the ELKB and TEC began in 2013 shortly after the encounter between Presiding Bishops Jefferts-Schori and Bedford-Strohm, and soon took on the characteristics of a dialogue. Meetings in subsequent years took place in New York, Tutzing, Paris, and Augsburg. Numerous smaller meetings took place between in-person meetings.

The conversation/dialogue committee included representatives from TEC, the ELKB, and:
• The Director for Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion Office,
• The Director of the Council for Christian Unity of the Church of England,
• A representative of Inter-Anglican Standing Commission for Unity, Faith and Order
• A representative of the German National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation,
• The Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) co-secretary of the Meissen Commission, and
• The Director for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

TEC General Convention Resolution 2018-C059 approved and commended the process of exploring deeper relations and the dialogue toward full communion between TEC and the ELKB.

Resolution 2018-C059 Commend Dialogue with the Evangelical Church in Bavaria
Resolved, That the 79th General Convention approve and commend the existing relationship between the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe (Convocation) and the Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern (ELKB) (Evangelical Church in Bavaria); and be it further
Resolved, That the 79th General Convention approve and commend the process of exploring deeper relations and the dialogue toward full communion between The Episcopal Church and the ELKB.

background papers in the Dialogue
  • History of the dialogue - here
  • Background paper on synodical structures in the ELKB by the Rev. Dr. Judith Böttcher - English and Deutsch
  • Episcopal Views of Episkopé,  a background paper on the development of episkopé in TEC by the Rt. Rev. Mark D.W. Edington - here
  • The Ministry of the Bishop: Theses from a Lutheran Perspective by the Rev. Prof. Dr. Bernd Oberdorfer - here
  • Glossary of Terminology - English and Deutsch

More information on Lutheran and Protestant Churches in Germany:

  • Understanding Lutherans. A Pocket Guide to Lutheranism in Germany (PDF) - here
  • Lutheran – Reformed – United. A Pocket Guide to the Denominational Landscape in Germany (PDF) - here