Conversations and agreements

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland has an altar and pulpit fellowship with the Lutheran World Federation's member churches.

Conversations with the Russian Orthodox Church began in 1970 that were aimed at deepening mutual understanding and providing important theological and ecumenical advances both nationally and internationally, for example through Finnish Luther research. This theological dialogue has stopped for now. In 2016 the churches organised a Theological Conference in Helsinki.

Discussions have also been held with the Finnish Orthodox Church since 1989. The ELCF is part of the Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission as well.

The ELCF has actively contributed to the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue, playing a major role in the drafting of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (1999). A dialogue between the ELCF and the Catholic Church in Finland concluded in 2017 with the publication of a report entitled Communion in Growth. Declaration on the Church, Eucharist, and Ministry (2017).

Dialogue with the Church of England began in the 1920s, resulting in limited intercommunion in 1936. Relations with Anglicans developed further after the war, culminating in the signing of the Porvoo Declaration in 1996, when the ELCF joined the Porvoo Communion. In addition to establishing an altar and pulpit fellowship, member churches commit themselves “to regard baptised members of all our churches as members of our own”.

Eucharistic hospitality has been in place with the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland since 1956, and since 2002 an altar and pulpit fellowship based on a cooperation agreement with the Evangelical Church in Germany. 

The ELCF has regular bilateral contacts with the Evangelical Free Church of Finland and the Finnish Pentecostal Movement. Since 1997, there has also been a theological dialogue with Finnish- and Swedish-speaking Baptist churches.

Conversations with the Finnish- and Swedish-speaking Methodist churches began in 2002, concluding in the autumn of 2007 with the publication of the document “Partakers of Christ”, which established the doctrinal consensus necessary for an agreement on an altar and pulpit fellowship and the mutual recognition of ministries adopted by the General Synod in May 2010.

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