Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations


That they may all be one

~ John 17:21

The quest for Christian unity in the world inspires the faith and shapes the life of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA office of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations has the task of assisting this church in that quest.

10th Anniversary Celebration of Called to Common Mission

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of Called to Common Mission which gives expression to the full communion relationship between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Church.  It also marks the 10th Anniversary of the full communion agreement between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada.

On the Second Sunday of Easter, May 1, 2011, our four churches will join in celebrations which will transpire on the border between the United States and Canada.  At Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1080 Main Street, Buffalo, New York, at 3 p.m., and at a similar hour across the Peace Bridge at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Fort Erie, Ontario, Anglicans and Lutherans will come together to mark our respective 10th anniversaries and to honor the possibilities of future collaboration.

At St. Paul’s, National Bishop Susan Johnson will preside while Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will preach.  At Holy Trinity, Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson will preside and Archbishop Fred Hiltz will preach.

The Eucharists will include the rite of Thanksgiving for Baptism, a specially-prepared litany, and the reading of a pastoral letter from the four church leaders. Bishop Hanson will read the letter and will be available for sharing along with Archbishop Hiltz at the reception that will follow the service.

Please remember The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and this special occasion in your prayers, as well as our partner churches in Canada.  We also urge members of area ELCA churches to join Bishop Hanson in this historic celebration at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Buffalo at 3:00 p.m. on the Second Sunday of Easter, May 1.

May God who is bountiful, merciful and gracious empower us, encourage us and lead us into the next decade of our faithful journey together.

Celebration of Full Communion, a worship aid for the 10th anniversary celebration, May 1, 2011. (If you plan to use this service, please make sure to obtain appropriate copyright permission.)
Booklet version PDF Format   Reader version PDF Format 

Status of Reception of the Dialogue Report "The Hope of Eternal Life"

The U.S. Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue, Round 11, has produced the following Common Statement: The Hope of Eternal Life. The document represents the work of scholars from both traditions who met over a period of five years (2005-2010) to explore common understandings and differences in the Christian belief in the eternal life promised and realized in Jesus Christ.

Official reception of the Common Statement is pending in both communions. The Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Liaison Committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Conference of Bishops will officially receive the Statement and share it with the Conference of Bishops at the latter's meeting in March 2011. Reception on the Catholic side is expected to take place when the Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meets in plenary in April 2011.

Download the document here:
The Hope of Eternal Life: Common Statement of the Eleventh Round of the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue   PDF Format

Our Team & Our FocusOur Team & Our Focus

Get to know our staff and read about our commitment to living together with Lutherans, Christians, and world religions.

Full Communion PartnersFull Communion Partners

The ELCA shares full communion relation- ships with six churches. Read about full communion, and get to know our partners.

Bilateral ConversationsBilateral Conversations

Dialogues between different church bodies can lead to improved inter-denominational relations and the sharing of mission.

Inter-Religious RelationsInter-Religious Relations

The ELCA resides in a world where people have conflicting political and religious loyalties. How do we live together in peace?

Inter-Lutheran RelationsInter-Lutheran Relations

Lutherans worldwide combine resources to work on issues like humanitarian aid, human rights and communication.

Building AwarenessBuilding Awareness

You are invited to seek new opportunities that shape emerging leaders in the area of ecumenical and inter-religious work.

At the Grass RootsAt the Grass Roots

Discover ways to strengthen relationships and foster cooperation within your own community, in service to the world.

Conciliar RelationsConciliar Relations

Representatives from an array of Christians around the globe meet in order to witness to the world as one unified Christian voice.

LERN: The Bishops' NetworkLERN

The Lutheran Ecumenical & Inter-Religious Representatives Network, with members from each of the 65 ELCA synods.

Glossary of TermsGlossary of Terms

Become familiar with the vocabulary using this helpful collection of words, phrases, acronyms, and their ecumenical definitions.

E-Life NewsletterE-Life Newsletter

Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Life (E-Life) is a window into the everyday ecumenical and inter-religious activity in the ELCA.

If you have any questions about anything on the Ecumenical & Inter-Religious Relations website, please feel free to email us.