1. Organized 1918 as a common agency for The General* Syn. of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in the USA, the General* Council of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in N. Am., the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Ohio* and Other States, the Ev. Luth. Syn. of Iowa* and Other States, the Augustana* Ev. Luth. Ch., The Norw. Luth. Ch. of Am. (see Evangelical Lutheran Church, The, 13, 15), the Lutheran* Free Ch., and The Dan. Ev. Luth. Ch. in Am. (see Danish Lutherans in America, 3). The United* Syn. of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in the S joined soon thereafter.
Cooperative efforts to promote and publicize the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Reformation in 1917 gave original incentive to its organization. The Nat. Luth. Commission for Soldiers' and Sailors' Welfare was organized October 1917 to give spiritual ministration to men in the armed forces. The Luth. Bureau was est. November 1917 to issue publicity.
2. On initiative of the Ex. Com. of the Nat. Luth. Commission for Soldiers' and Sailors' Welfare, 15 representatives of various Luth. bodies met in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 17, 1918, and elected a planning committee of 8, which met in Pittsburgh August 1, 1918. The NLC was organized at Chicago, Illinois, September 6, 1918.
3. No formal constitution was adopted, but stated purposes included: providing statistical information; publicity; pub. relations; coordinating Luth. activities and agencies; fostering Christian loyalty and a righteous relation bet. ch. and state.
7. Scope and activity of the NLC were enlarged as a result of WW II. The Const. and Bylaws adopted 1945 recognized that the participating bodies accepted the Bible as the Word of God and the only source, norm, and guide of Christian faith and life, and the UAC and M. Luther's Catechism as the true exposition and presentation of the doctrine of the Bible.
8. Purposes and objectives stated in the 1945 Const. and later amendments:
b. To bring to the attention of the participating bodies matters which in its judgment may require utterance or action on their part.
(1) Nat. and state govts.
g. To undertake and carry on such work as may be authorized by the participating bodies in fields where coordination or joint activity may be desirable and feasible, e.g., publicity, statistics, welfare work, missions, educ., student work.
h. To take the necessary steps to meet emergencies requiring common action, each participating body to determine the extent of its cooperation in emergency work.
i. To undertake additional work with the specific consent of the participating bodies.
9. Representation was on the basis of 1 for every 100,000 confirmed mems., or one-third fraction thereof, provided, however, that each participating body be entitled to at least 1 representative. Mem. bodies helped form The United* Luth. Ch. in America, the American* Luth. Ch., and the Lutheran* Ch. in Am.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission
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