The Council of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), which met in Geneva, Switzerland from Sept. 1-7, modified the constitution and membership procedures of Action by Churches Together (ACT) – an ecumenical relief group founded by the LWF and the World Council of Churches (WCC). The new modifications clarified the role of the ACT as an independent body while elucidating the difference between a founding member and joining member of the international ACT.
Rev. Marie J. Barnett, chairperson of the Program Committee for World Services and member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone, said the LWF acknowledged the integrity of the ACT governance structure.
“We are proud of ACT and value the opportunity to partner with WCC member churches and agencies around the world,” said Barnett.
The new recommendations stated that those churches within the LWF and the WCC can apply for a “collective membership” through the umbrella organizations. The additional clause established by the Council was the recommendation to add members outside of the LWF and WCC circles; those outside the two founding groups are now allowed membership to the ACT by directly applying to the relief group itself.
However, to distinguish the two types of memberships, the Council also modified Article 5 of the ACT constitution, to include a definition of “founding members” – i.e. LWF and WCC – and the other members.
Ultimately, the program committee decided that the LWF and WCC will take primary responsibility for registration process and would confirm the enlistment of other member churches.
The LWF Department for World Service (DWS) work worldwide includes emergency relief linked to disaster preparedness and sustainable development. With field offices in more than 30 countries, LWF/DWS focuses on meeting the needs of all people, irrespective of race, sex, creed, nationality or political conviction. The LWF has 138 member churches in 77 countries around the world, and has a collective membership of nearly 65 million people.