The ELCIC's National Church Council (NCC) directed the Faith, Order and Doctrine Committee (FOD) to study orders of ministry with particular attention to diakonia and Diaconal Ministry.
The following document was made available to the church for review, reflection and response.
National Church Council passed the following motions:
Refinements to ELCIC Polity and Policy
1. (CC-2019-16) That NCC approves and recommends for adoption to the 2019 ELCIC National Convention that the ELCIC recognizes that “ordination” is the rite which marks and celebrates the acceptance of a first call into public ministry of a deacon, or a bishop or a pastor. CARRIED
2. (CC-2019-18) That NCC approves and recommends that the 2019 ELCIC National Convention request that the Program Committee for Worship develop a unified rite of ordination containing alternative and variable pieces appropriate to the ordination of a deacon, a pastor or a bishop. CARRIED
3. (CC-2019-18) That NCC approves and recommends for adoption to the 2019 ELCIC National Convention that the ELCIC authorizes deacons to preside at weddings or funerals with the permission of the synodical bishop. Normally, a pastor presides at weddings and funerals by virtue of their call to a particular congregation or similar setting. Normally, a deacon's invitation to preside at a wedding or funeral emerges from those relationships formed while exercising their ministry in the setting into which they are called. CARRIED
4. (CC-2019-19) That NCC approves and recommends to the 2019 ELCIC National Convention that Reimagining Our Church - Public Ministry in the ELCIC be referred to the Program Committee for Leadership for Ministry for review and revision where necessary of (1) the ELCIC Candidacy Manual and (2) the policies regarding Authorized Lay Ministries, Synodically Authorized Lay Ministry of the Word and the Alternative Route for Admission to the Roster of Ordained Ministers. CARRIED
5. (CC-2019-20) That NCC approves and recommends that the 2019 ELCIC National Convention refers Reimagining Our Church - Public Ministry in the ELCIC to ELCIC synods and seminaries to help inform their preparation of candidates for public ministry in the ELCIC. CARRIED
Approval of Reimagining Our Church - Public Ministry in the ELCIC
6. (CC-2019-21) That NCC approves and recommends for adoption to the 2019 ELCIC National Convention the document Reimagining our Church - Public Ministry in the ELCIC and that NCC share this document with ELCIC pastors, deacons and bishops; with ELCIC synods, congregations and other ministry settings; with ELCIC seminaries and schools; with the Deaconess Community of the ELCA and Lutheran Diaconal Association; with the Lutheran World Federation and ecumenical partners. CARRIED
Changes to Constitution and Bylaws
7. (CC-2019-22) That NCC requests the Constitution Committee to review the ELCIC Constitution and Bylaws and replace terminologies such as “ordained minister” with “pastor” or “bishop,” “deacon” to replace “diaconal minister,” and “ordination” to replace “consecration,” and bring draft revisions to the 2019 National Convention. CARRIED.