To Recognize Evangelical Lutheran Church in Almaty and the District of Almaty – Republic of Kazakhstan as a Self-Governing Partner Church
Overture 5-05 (CW, p. 344)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Almaty and the District of Almaty - Republic of Kazakhstan (ELC-RK) traces its origin to the efforts of LCMS missionaries. Rev. Alexander Burtsev, ELC President and pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church in Almaty, in a Nov. 11, 2015, letter stated:
The Missouri Synod sent her first missionary to Kazakhstan in 1994. For the past 21 years, the Missouri Synod has operated the mission work in Kazakhstan. We are very grateful for the work of the Missouri Synod and appreciate her as our mother. Due to the changing laws in Kazakhstan, it is difficult if not impossible for an American missionary to do work in Kazakhstan. The best we can hope is for people from the Missouri Synod to drop in now and then. Yet this sort of arrangement is not the best for the day-to-day operations of a church.
Currently, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kazakhstan is not a legal entity within Kazakhstan, and likely cannot be so for some time. Our church has five congregations legally registered with the government. … The five congregations, while not legally recognized as a church body in Kazakhstan, have banded together under an agreement to function as a church body. In total, we have approximately 500 members.
We should request that the Missouri Synod recognize the ELC-RK to be recognized as a self-governing church. …
If possible, we would like you to bring the recognition of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) as a “self54 governing church” before your Synod convention in July 2016.
WHEREAS, The ELC-RK has committed itself to be faithful to the inerrant Scriptures and has subscribed without reservation to the writings of the 1 Book of Concord; and
WHEREAS, The ELC-RK seeks in every way to be and remain a scripturally faithful, confessional Lutheran church body; and
WHEREAS, The ELC-RK is established as an independent Lutheran church and has shared its Agreement on Spiritual Unity, Partnership, and Collaboration of Churches and a representative example of an ELC-RK congregation’s Articles of Association with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) leadership; and
WHEREAS, Rev.Alexander Burtsev, ELC-RK president, in conversation with Synod leadership and in his November 2015 letter, has confirmed the church’s desire to receive formal recognition of its status as a self12 governing partner church under LCMS bylaws; and
WHEREAS, 2013 Bylaw 126.96.36.199.2 (d) states:
(d) When a mission of the Synod applies for formal recognition as a self-governing partner church, such recognition shall be proposed at convention of the Synod by the Board for International Mission with the approval of the commission.
WHEREAS, In compliance with 2013 Bylaw 188.8.131.52.2 (d), the Board for International Mission has requested and received the approval of the CTCR to propose to the 2016 LCMS convention that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kazakhstan be recognized as a self-governing partner church; and
WHEREAS, Appropriate protocol documents guiding interactions between the LCMS and the ELC have been developed; therefore be it
Resolved, That the LCMS formally recognize the ELC-RK as a self-governing partner church; and be it further
Resolved, That the LCMS give thanks to God for the efforts of its missionaries and Kazakhstan national pastors of the ELC-RK; and be it further
Resolved, That the LCMS give thanks that God, by His grace, has equipped and prepared the members of the ELC-RK to give a faithful, confessional Lutheran witness in Kazakhstan; and be it further
Resolved, That we give thanks for the growth of this “daughter church” of the LCMS and its establishment as a self-governing Lutheran church body; and be it further
Resolved, That we acknowledge with gratitude the unity of confession that has been given to our churches under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; and be it further
Resolved, That we pray for God’s blessings in the coming years on our agreement in the confession of the Gospel that we enjoy as partner churches, and for the blessing of the Lord upon the members and leaders of the ELC-RK; and be it finally
Resolved, That in celebration and thanksgiving of this partnership in the Gospel, the 2016 LCMS convention assembly signify its approval by rising and singing the Common Doxology.