ELCA Companions in Romania
Who is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania and what are its ministries?
A Lutheran church in Romania
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania (ELCR)
, a member of the Lutheran World Federation
(LWF), has 32,000 members in 38 congregations, 112 Diaspora, 118 preaching points and 45 pastors. There are three Dioceses: Brasov (Brasso), Cluj (Kolozsvár), and Nadlac (Nagylak) — the Slovak Diocese . Due to a history with great political instability and shifting national borders, this church has congregations that worship in Romanian, Hungarian, German, and Slovak. Some congregations are growing with strong programs of activity. Some lapsed members from the socialist era have returned to the church. Migration from villages to the urban centers have increased numbers in church membership. Youth are seeking out the church as an alternative to “regular life.” The Evangelical Youth Association in Romania (EYAR) organizes annual youth camps and youth programs.
The ELCR is working on its public presentation. It publishes the "Evangelical Bell," a church periodical, that is distributed free of charge. The church presents itself, via radio broadcasts from three radio stations, to the public. Diaconal work is developing at the church-wide and congregational level. Since 1940, the ELCR has ordained women and presently there are nine woman clergy. Women are particularly involved in administrative and diaconal work. Theological education for this church takes place at an ecumenical seminary, jointly run by the Reformed Church (predominant Protestant body, the Lutheran church, and the Unitarian church). A good deal of support for theological education comes from the Reformed churches in the Netherlands and Switzerland. Ecumenical relations with other Protestant bodies are strong.Who is the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania and what are its ministries?
The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania (ECACR), a member of the Lutheran World Federation, has 15,000 members in 255 congregations. After World War II, losses, communist deportations and nationalization of agricultural lands, there was an increasing emigration of the German population. Between 1986 and 1989, the church lost 23,000 members due to emigration. The number of pastors decreased from 120 to 41 which now serve in the congregations, including very small ones and preaching points. The church is now on a strong path to recovery. The main priorities of the ECACR are pastoral services in the congregations and mission, diaconia, activity of women and youth work, and preserving cultural inheritance.
How do the companions in Romania and the ELCA accompany one another in ministry?
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilaterial relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission units stewards a church-to-church relationships with the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania.
These relationships are deepened and extended by the ELCR's relationship, through the ELCA Companion Synods program, with the Metropolitan Synod of New York.Churchwide funding
through the ELCA Global Mission unit supports key priorities identified by the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania, including leadership development and children's ministries, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania, including evangelism and outreach.Romania: the context in which the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania serve
Romania is the largest and most populous country in the Balkans. In 1859, the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, part of the Turkish Ottoman empire, united and adopted the new name of Romania. In 1940, Romania allied with the Axis powers and joined in the 1941 German invasion of the USSR. After World War II, they fell under Soviet occupation which led to the formation of a Communist “people’s republic”. Former communists dominated politics until 1996 at which time they were swept from power. Romania joined Nato I 2004 and the European Union in 2007. The population of Romania is 22,246,862 and Romanian is the official language. The country’s main religions are Eastern Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic.
Romania began the transition from Communism in 1989 with a largely obsolete industrial base and a large foreign debt. A concentrated effort to pay off th4 dept resulted in a further decline in the infrastructure and wrecked havoc on the economy and living standards. In 1992, with the assistance of the World Bank, European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF), Romania succeeded in privatizing most industrial state-owned enterprises, including some large state-owned energy companies. Efforts were made to transfer collectivized farmland to the original owners or to their heirs in an effort to increase agricultural production. Domestic consumption and investment have fueled strong GDP growths in recent years, however corruption and red tape continue to hamper the business environment.
For more information on Romania, type "Romania" into an online search engine or visit these links: