While some Protestant churches deal with divisions within their congregations, one Wisconsin church will be taking its affiliation dispute to court.
About 70 members of Grace Lutheran Church of Eau Claire are asking a judge to declare their church exclusively affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
An initial vote taken by the congregation to disaffiliate from the ELCA and join the more conservative Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ failed, but in April Grace Lutheran’s church council then decided to have their church be affiliated with both groups.
As a result, pro-ELCA members have sued to overturn the council’s decision. Until the matter is resolved, many of them are worshipping at the ELCA-affiliated First Lutheran Church of Eau Claire.
“This is a constitutional issue that requires people to follow the governing documents of the church,” said Pastor Scott Miller of First Lutheran to The Christian Post.
“The vote to disaffiliate from the ELCA failed. However, the church council, refusing to accept that outcome, declared that Grace Lutheran would be both ELCA and LCMC, a clear violation of the constitution. ”