Lutheran World Federation
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF now has 145 member churches in 79 countries all over the world representing over 70 million Christians.
The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, international affairs and human rights, communication, and mission and development. The LWF furthers global “diakonia” among member churches, addresses human need, promotes peace, human rights, social and economic justice, care for God’s creation and the sharing of resources. Development activities undertaken by member churches are supported through the LWF Department for Mission and Development.
The LWF Department for World Service (DWS) is the internationally recognized humanitarian and development arm of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). DWS provides humanitarian aid and assists in rehabilitation and development in some 34 countries. DWS works through regional programs, country programs, associate programs and emergency operations with up to 50 international staff and consultants and 5,000 national staff. DWS works with marginalized and disadvantaged communities in the areas of greatest vulnerability and endemic need. Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) works with DWS while DWS partners globally with ACT Alliance www.actalliance.org/ ACT is an alliance of 111 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance and development.
The ELCIC is an active member of the LWF. At the 11th LWF General Assembly held at Stuttgart in 2010, ELCIC’s National Bishop Susan C. Johnson, was elected to the LWF’s Council where she serves as Vice-President for the North American Region.
The current LWF president is The Rev. Munib A. Younan, bishop of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land while the current General Secretary is The Rev. Martin Junge, former president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile.
At Stuttgart, the LWF adopted a number of resolutions on issues of concern to member churches. The assembly took action to denounces human trafficking; to advocate for 250 million Dalits worldwide; to call member churches to participate in a Global Priorities Campaign and reduce military expenditure; to urge members to see access to food as a matter of economic justice; to adopt “principles of inclusive representation” and to address inequities around gender, generational and laity/clergy balance; more. Many other justice-related issues were addressed and resultant actions commended to the communion for implementation.
At Stuttgart, the LWF also offered an apology to the Mennonites for past wrongs. The ELCIC and Mennonite Church Canada subsequently produced a study guide for congregational use.
Together with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad Diocese, a diocese of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, the ELCIC is one of three member churches in the LWF’s North American Region.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is our neighbour to the south and the largest member of the LWF’s North American Region. With more than 10,300 congregations distributed over 65 synods across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and having some 4.5 million members, the ELCA has been a valuable and generous partner in mission and ministry. The ELCIC and ELCA enjoy a close working relationship. For example, we share the same jointly-produced worship book, Evangelical Lutheran Worship.
Lutheran Church-Canada (LC-C) is our sister Lutheran Church in Canada. The ELCIC and LC-C cooperate on joint matters via the Lutheran Council in Canada. Moreover, both churches cooperate in the global efforts of Canadian Lutheran World Relief.
Special Interest Conferences
Three Special Interest Conferences serve the unique ethnic needs of ELCIC members. They are the Chinese Special Interest Conference, the German Special Interest Conference and the Finnish (Suomi) Special Interest Conference.
The ELCIC maintains formal bilateral relationships with four Lutheran churches in Europe. They are the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD). These bilateral relationships facilitate clergy exchange and continuing education for clergy.