Lutheran identity commits to ecumenism
The Federation and its member churches are, depending on their capacity, actively involved in the local, regional, national and worldwide community of the ecumenical movement. Our Lutheran identity necessitates this ecumenical commitment because it is an essential part of our understanding of faith and life. The certainty of our faith depends on the notion that trust will not be disappointed, that help will not be denied and that life will not be destroyed by hopelessness. This conviction is based on God’s reaching out to humanity. Ecumenical relationships and networks, therefore, have become more important than ever in this pluralistic and globalized world.
On a congregational level, this is already being practiced. Each individual congregation or church of the Federation of Evangelical-Lutheran Churches in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein is not on its own the Church of Christ, but exists in relation to the community of a united worldwide Christianity. Therefore we are focusing more on what we have in common than on what divides us. We trust that different individuals, nations and religions are able to live together in reconciled commonality. No congregation, no church can exist on its own.
By practicing ecumenism, each congregation itself, as well as the federation of churches and congregations, experiences an enrichment of its own Christian identity as well as an encouragement by being part of a larger movement through social action and reconciliation with others. Therefore, for many years, BELK has been a member of the Lutheran World Federation; and of the the National Ecumenical Council in Switzerland (Arbeitsgemeinschaft christlicher Kirchen, Schweiz) where it holds a seat on the board as well and of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE). We are also in close contact with the Federation of Suisse Protestant Churches (SEK).
On the occasion of its annual General Synod, the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD) regularly invites sister churches, providing a good opportunity for the representatives of BELK to be connected with each other on a more personal level.
This ecumenical mosaic is completed by the work of the Martin-Luther-Bund in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. The MLB networks closely with Lutheran congregations in the diaspora and represents the diaconal responsibility of ecumenism.