Representatives of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (known by the Czech acronym ECAV) in the Czech Republic signed a “working agreement” July 11 that pledges continuing dialogue between the two church bodies and allows the LCMS to operate an English-speaking congregation in Prague — St. Michael’s Lutheran Church.
The agreement was signed at St. Michael’s by the Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III and the Rev. Tony Booker of the LCMS, and the Rev. Marián Cop and Dr. Jaromír Neumann of the ECAV. Collver is director of LCMS Church Relations, Booker is an LCMS missionary who serves as pastor of St. Michael’s in Prague, Cop is superintendent of the ECAV and Neumann is the ECAV’s senior consistor.
Collver is quick to note that the agreement is not a declaration of altar and pulpit fellowship between the two church bodies, “but rather it expresses both churches’ commitment to engage in further discussion as they work together in limited ways externally.”
Specifically, that means both churches have agreed to:
- have regular contact between their leaders.
- strengthen the work of pastoral ministry through lectures and symposia.
- invite each other to theological presentations.
- share theological opinions with one another, especially as those opinions pertain to the “theological and ethical problems of our civilization.”
Regarding the St. Michael’s congregation, the agreement allows Booker to continue as an LCMS pastor there as if he were serving an LCMS congregation — “upholding the LCMS position on altar and pulpit fellowship and conducting the service according to the Lutheran Service Book,” says Collver.
He added that the ECAV’s “desire for this working agreement shows that the LCMS has contributions to make to world Lutheranism, particularly in the realm of theological dialogue, education and in the social and ethical arenas.”
Posted July 12, 2012