WELS is part of an organization called the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC). Founded in 1993 with 13 members, its members today include more than 30 confessional Lutheran church bodies from around the world. Some of the members are church bodies and synods that originated as WELS or Evangelical Lutheran Synod missions; others are church bodies that were established independently. All members of the CELC are in fellowship with WELS and with one another and are united in doctrine.
The CELC meets every three years in different locations, with representatives from the member church bodies attending. Last year, the meeting was scheduled to be held in Seoul, South Korea, but it had to be canceled because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. As a substitute for that meeting, this year a virtual conference is being held. The meeting is being held throughout six days over a three-week period. The first sessions were held last week.
The CELC plays an important role. It provides an opportunity for our sister church bodies to become familiar with each other, to provide mutual encouragement, and to grow in our understanding and appreciation for the truth of the Scriptures. Since many of these church bodies are rather small, and since some of them are very young in terms of being independent church bodies, these meetings provide an important forum for discussion and spiritual growth. We may think that WELS, as the largest church body in the CELC, would provide encouragement to smaller churches—and it does—but the CELC is also an encouragement and blessing for WELS as we witness these churches’ strong faith and commitment to the Word in challenging situations we do not face.
Please keep the churches and your fellow believers of the CELC in your prayers as they faithfully carry out their mission.
The CELC plans to hold an in-person meeting in Seoul, South Korea, in 2023. Learn more about the church bodies that make up the CELC at celc.info.
Serving together with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder