The LWF is on a journey.

We are moving from a loose knit federation of churches to an interconnected communion of churches.

This communion is a gift before it is a task. We hear the gospel of God’s grace, receive baptism and join together in Holy Communion. And thus we are drawn to God, and to one another.

This is a spiritual journey, where God’s Spirit enables us to listen to one another and share our joys and sufferings.

As we grow together, taking care of one another as members of the Body of Christ, the communion becomes more than just an organization. In so many ways we are, then, coming into a deeper relationship – ecclesial relationship – with one another.

Of course, the purpose of this relationship is to take on God’s mission as our own.

We come to see the shape of that mission through Christ, especially in his cross. God is present at the margins of society, entering into the depths of human suffering and injustice, embracing those whom humanity so often excludes.

As a global communion of Lutheran churches, the LWF is called to be there too.

Our Communion Relationships

Relationships are part of what defines who we are in our life and work as a communion of churches.

Our communion relationships take many shapes and forms and serve different purposes.

We come together to share our faith and even our way of expressing that faith. We also share our knowledge and resources, and collaborate in our actions or programs when that makes sense, across regions or globally.

Relationships within the Communion

Looking to the biblical account of the encounter between Jesus and the disciples on the road to Emmaus, our member churches embrace mutual accompaniment as the model for communion relationships. We walk together in God’s mission in solidarity, interdependence and mutual responsibility. We share the gospel, resources, advice and admonition. Our relationships with related organizations, many of which are long associations, encourage strategic exchanges and joint action on challenges facing the church and the world.

Ecumenical Relationships and Partnerships

Ecumenical engagement is an important aspect of our communion’s life as illustrated by our commitment to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 ecumenically.

We support the World Council of Churches because of its distinctive role. We continue our involvement with long-term partners and dialogues as part of our commitment to the search for Christian unity.

We also work with ecumenical partners in mission, particularly the ACT Alliance and Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.

Relationships with Other Faiths, Civil Society, State Actors

We maintain relationships and dialogue with other faiths, civil society, state actors and United Nations agencies.

We do this because these parties have great importance for our member churches, the Communion Office and the communion as a whole in the efforts they undertake towards peace, reconciliation, sustainable livelihoods and justice.

Principles that Guide Our Relationships with Our Partners

  • Clarity around purpose of relationships and roles and responsibilities of partners
  • Respect for autonomy of partners
  • Making best use of contributions of partners
  • Mutual responsibility and accountability
  • Transparency in decision making and openness in communication