THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ELCA DECLARATION TO THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
In 1984, the Lutheran World Federation Assembly adopted a statement titled “Luther, Lutheranism, and the Jews.” Ten years later, the ELCA Church Council adopted “Declaration of ELCA to the Jewish Community,” repudiating Luther’s anti-Judaic writings and reaching out in right relationship to our Jewish neighbors. On the occasion of this — the 25th anniversary of this foundational inter-religious document in the life of the ELCA — the Churchwide Assembly paused in the presence of our Jewish partners to recommit to what we have, as a church, declared about our past, present and future in Lutheran-Jewish relations. Pastor Darrell Jodock, chair of the ELCA consultative panel on Lutheran-Jewish Relations, and Pastor Peg Shultz-Akerson, a member of that panel, led the assembly in a “Litany of Confession” based on the 1994 declaration. This litany is intended to be used in other local, synodical or national settings as appropriate. In late October the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College will also highlight this anniversary and look toward the future.