August 18, 1997 in Nation/World

Protestants Closer To Unity

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

Move over, Martin Luther. Step aside, John Calvin.

The American descendants of the two feuding giants of the Reformation are one step away from passage of a historic agreement to enter into “full communion” with one another.

The 5.2 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is scheduled to vote at its biennial Churchwide Assembly today on a church unity pact that would allow members to share the Communion table and the pulpit with three major Reformed churches.

The 2.7 million-member Presbyterian Church and the 400,000-member Reformed Church in America approved the agreements in June, and in July only about 10 of the 700 delegates to the 1.5 million-member United Church of Christ meeting voted against the agreement.

Church observers on Sunday predicted the Lutheran-Reformed agreement would be approved, but were less certain a separate Lutheran-Episcopal proposal for full communion would receive the necessary two-thirds vote from the 1,040 delegates.


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