In 1988, three church bodies – The American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America – united to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! — Psalm 133:1
Lutheran World Federation
The Lutheran World Federation is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the federation now has 143 member churches in 79 countries representing 70.5 million Lutherans worldwide. It acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, communications and various aspects of mission and development work. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the federation has regional offices around the world. Former ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson served as president of the federation from 2003 to 2010.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
In 1986, two Canadian church bodies merged to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the ELCA collaborate with one another directly and through a number of global organizations, including The Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches. Reaching out and cooperating with our neighbors to the north is a step toward reaching out to our brothers and sisters in countries all over the world. The ELCA, The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church in Canada meet annually to discuss opportunities for cooperation in mission and ministry.
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod is the second largest Lutheran church body in North America. In 2012, The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod leadership communicated its intention to discontinue meetings and participation with ELCA churchwide staff, including areas of support and training of military and federal chaplaincy, response to HIV and AIDS, and national coordination of recovery after a disaster. The longtime combined efforts of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and the ELCA continue at the congregational and regional levels in some areas. The ELCA remains open to national dialogue and cooperation in the future.
North American Lutheran Church
Formed in 2010, the North American Lutheran Church grew out of the reform movement, Lutheran CORE. In response to a resolution passed by the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly on seeking conversation with the North American Lutheran Church, four representatives of each church body met in 2012 in Indianapolis to discuss areas of disagreement, interest and concern. Practical matters related to local mission and ministry were significant topics at this meeting.