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New Church Body to be Formed for Lutherans in North America

Contact: Mark Chavez, Lutheran CORE, 717-898-0801

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- More than 1,000 Lutherans from throughout North America will gather Aug. 26-27 in suburban Columbus, Ohio, to form a new church body for confessional Lutherans. The annual Convocation of Lutheran CORE will adopt a constitution that will give birth to the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).

"The NALC will embody the center of Lutheranism in America. The NALC will uphold confessional principles dear to Lutherans including a commitment to the authority of the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions," said the Rev. Mark Chavez, director of Lutheran CORE.

The Convocation will take place at Grove City Church of the Nazarene in Grove City, Ohio. A theological conference featuring some of the most significant Lutheran scholars in America will precede the Convocation. "Seeking New Directions for Lutheranism" is the theme of the Aug. 24-26 conference at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church in Hilliard, Ohio.

Lutherans throughout the United States have been reacting to actions by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America reversing ELCA policy to allow pastors to be in same-sex relationships and to officiate at same-sex union ceremonies.

Lutheran CORE leaders note that the problems in the ELCA are really not about sexual behavior but rather about an ongoing movement away from the authority and teaching of the Bible throughout the ELCA.

"It was not our choice to leave the ELCA, but the ELCA has chosen to reject 'the faith once delivered to the saints,' so now we are acting to maintain our position within the consensus of the Church catholic," said Ryan Schwarz of Washington, D.C., chair of Lutheran CORE's Vision and Planning Working Group.

The proposals to be considered by the Convocation have been designed to provide a way for Lutherans who uphold Biblical teaching to move forward together. In addition to creating the NALC, Lutheran CORE's 2010 Convocation will also consider proposals for the continuation of Lutheran CORE as "a confessional and confessing unity movement" for traditional Lutherans regardless of their church body affiliation, including in particular those traditional Lutherans who will remain in the ELCA for the time being.

"We have a great opportunity before us. We not only want to look back toward the past, but to look ahead to the mission God has given us -- to confess Christ faithfully, to witness to others, and to grow in God's mission. This is our opportunity now in Lutheran CORE and in the North American Lutheran Church," said the Rev. Paull Spring of State College, Pa., chair of Lutheran CORE.

For more information go to www.lutherancore.org.