Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America
With the reception of Pastor Michael D. Henson and Gary K. Harroun into the membership of the Evangelical Diocese of North America (ELDoNA) on Sunday evening, August 23, 2009, the members of Trinity Lutheran Church are now in fellowship with the members of congregations served by thirteen other ELDoNA pastors.
The Scriptural requirement (John 8:31-32; Rom 16:17; 1 Cor 5:11; 10:16-17; 11:26ff; Eph 4:3) for fellowship is “unity with one another in doctrine and all its articles, and also in the right use of the Sacraments” (Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, X, 31).
Having looked into the doctrine and practice of the pastors within ELDoNA for some time, both Trinity’s pastors and her hearers came to acknowledge that the doctrine and practice of the ELDoNA were faithful to the Word of God and in accordance with the correct interpretation of God’s Word as found in the Lutheran Book of Concord, 1580. Therefore, our pastors began the process of joining ELDoNA that we might “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3). The announcement of our pastors’ reception into ELDoNA membership is a confirmation of the faithfulness of their ministry in our midst. Therefore, we now rejoice to acknowledge each other’s faithful ministry (2 John 1:10-11) and look forward to communing with other ELDoNA-affiliated congregations.
As Trinity’s members have not been communing with any other congregation since we went into a State of Confession on January 9, 2005, this is an important change and will be explained in our Sunday bulletin communion statement for visitors. The back of the bulletin will include a list of all ELDoNA pastors and the congregations they serve, so that our members who may wish to attend those congregation’s services may do so.
We will also include a prayer for Bishop James Heiser each week and a rotating prayer for one of the ELDoNA pastors and his congregation(s). One last change will be the designation of our Assistant Pastor as “Deacon Gary Harroun” in accordance with ELDoNA nomenclature. Any ordained Pastor who undertakes limited Pastoral duties is considered a deacon. Thus all called and ordained men are in the pastoral office, but based on their actual duties are designated as Bishop, Pastor, or Deacon.