The Faith, Order and Doctrine Committee (FOD) of the ELCIC's National Church Council (NCC) was asked in the Fall of 2012 to consider the question of licensing lay people for sacramental ministry. This followed from a request to NCC from one of our synods acting in convention. The underlying concern was for under-served communities desiring more regular access to a full ministry of Word and Sacrament. The FOD terms of reference were later broadened by NCC to "the study of Word and Sacrament Ministry in the ELCIC."
After consultation across the church and with partners, and a comprehensive study process open to the whole church, FOD prepared a draft Policy Regarding Authorized Lay Ministry. At their March 2015 meeting, NCC approved a motion to recommend the policy to the ELCIC's National Convention.
Recommendation re: Policy Regarding Authorized Lay Ministries
As part of the consultation, a churchwide study process was made available for the purpose of:
- Exploring and discussing the current reality for congregations in Canada with respect to Word and Sacrament ministry, and;
- Reflecting on how our Lutheran understanding of Word and Sacrament, and of ministry, might shape future options for the provision of ministry.
While the deadline for the feedback on the study guide has now passed, you can still view this four-session Study Guide online.
The ELCIC, acting in convention, adopted the following motion: ELCIC Policy Authorized Lay Ministries.