The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Who is the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church and what are its ministries?
Lenoir Rhyne College Choir touring Estonia
The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELC)
, a member of the Lutheran World Federation
(LWF), with 164,000 members in 165 congregations, describes its mission: “The aim and task of the EELC is to proclaim the Word of God and administer the sacraments; to further the live faith and love in congregations; to carry out the religious, ethical and educational work; to organize the diaconal, missionary and diaspora work and to direct the activities of separate congregations, co-ordinate, support and supervise them.”
The historic tower of Tallinn's castle in Hermann
The EELC emphasizes leadership development of its clergy and laity. The Theological Institute of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church provides a theological educational center for the entire church. It prepares clergy, cantors, educators, youth leaders, and chaplains for the ministry of the EELC. The Association for Work with Children and Youth of the EELC coordinates and operates much of the EELC’s youth ministry, which includes discussion groups, prayer groups, annual gatherings, Christian education, and outreach. The Mission Centre of the EELC sends and supports mission outreach both within Estonia and abroad, and the EELC’s weekly paper, “Eesti Kirik” is distributed throughout Estonia.How do the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another in ministry?
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards a church-to-church relationship with the EELC.
This relationship is deepened and extended by the EELC's relationship, through the ELCA Companion Synods program, with the Delaware-Maryland Synod.Estonia: the context where the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church serves
An old house
After its independence from the Soviet Union on September 6, 1991, Estonia became a parliamentary republic based on its 1992 Constitution. Estonia is home to over 1,324,000 people. Estonian is the official language, but Russian and Ukrainian are widely spoken as well. Religions practiced include Evangelical Lutheran (14%), Orthodox (13%), Estonian Orthodox. Over one-third of the population is not affiliated with any religion.
Estonia, as a new member the European Union, has become a modern market economy. It has electronics and telecommunications sectors with three major trading partners: Finland, Sweden and Germany. The current deficit is high, however the state budget is in balance, and public debt is low. Estonia enjoys remarkable levels of foreign direct investment. The trade deficit is a negative factor, whereas the internal government surplus is a plus. Environmentally, Estonia's challenges include air, lake and coastal seawater pollution.
For up-to-date information on Estonia, type “Estonia” into an online search engine or visit: