LWF-MWC International Study Commission letter

  • Resource Document

January 6, 2014

To: Mennonite colleges, universities, seminaries, information centers, and local/regional historical societies.

In 2002—building on the work of earlier dialogues in France, Germany, and the United States—the Lutheran World Federation and Mennonite World Conference agreed to form an International Study Commission to review the theological differences that separated us in the 16th century and to explore possible paths toward reconciliation.

The Study Commission concluded that on several points—specifically our understandings of baptism, pacifism, and the Christian view of the state—important differences between our two churches still remain.

In response to the Lutheran action, MWC also made the following commitments:

1. We commit ourselves to promote interpretations of the Lutheran-Anabaptist story which take seriously the jointly described history found in the Lutheran-Mennonite International Study Commission report;

2. We commit ourselves to take care that your initiative for reconciliation is known and honored in Anabaptist-Mennonite teaching about Lutherans.

3. We commit ourselves to continue with you in deliberation on the unresolved issues between our two traditions, in a spirit of mutual vulnerability and openness to the movement of the Spirit;

4. We commit ourselves to encourage our member churches, their local congregations, and their institutions to seek fuller relations and greater cooperation with Lutherans in service to the world.