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St. Paul's Lutheran Church
Our Full Communion Partners
Presbyterian Church (USA) Presbyterian Church (USA) Reformed Church in America Reformed Church in America
United Church of Christ United Church of Christ The Episcopal Church The Episcopal Church
The Moravian Church The Moravian Church The United Methodist Church The United Methodist Church

Full communion is when two churches develop a relationship based on a common confessing of the Christian faith and a mutual recognition of baptism and sharing of the Lord’s Supper. This does not mean that two churches merge; rather, in reaching agreements, churches also respect differences. These denominations likewise jointly worship, may exchange clergy, and also share a commitment to evangelism, witness and service in the world. A central document to Lutherans is the Augsburg Confession. Article VII of the Augsburg Confession states that “the true unity of the church” is present where the Gospel is rightly preached and Sacraments rightly administered. The ELCA is committed to this model of full communion as an authentic expression of Christian unity.

Characteristics of Full Communion Partners:

† a common confessing of the Christian faith

† a mutual recognition of Baptism and a sharing of the Lord's Supper, allowing for joint worship and an exchangeability of members

† a mutual recognition and availability of ordained ministers to the service of all members of churches in full communion, subject to the disciplinary regulations of other churches

† a common commitment to evangelism, witness, and service

† a means of common decision making on critical common issues of faith and life

† a mutual lifting of any condemnations that exist between churches