The Council of the CPCE has accepted the German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ukraine as a direct member of the church communion.
The Evangelical Lutheran churches in Russia and other successor states of the Soviet Union had already been discussing their membership in CPCE since 2019. Until now they had been represented together as the Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Russia and Other States (ELCROS), but were now seeking their own membership.
The German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ukraine (GELCU) was the first to submit such an application in the spring of 2022, which the Council of the CPCE approved at its meeting in Oslo on September 28, 2022.
The CPCE is the communion of the protestant churches. 94 lutheran, methodist, reformed and united churches from over thirty countries in Europe and South America belong to it. With that the CPCE represents altogether around 50 million Protestants.
The CPCE exists thanks to the Leuenberg Agreement of 1973. It concluded: churches are allowed to be different because they appeal to the Gospel as their common basis. That sounds simple, but has far-reaching consequences: since then a lutheran minister can preach from a reformed pulpit or a French minister lead a congregation in Germany.
The CPCE (till 2003 “Leuenberg Church Fellowship”) has a clear structure. About every six years a General Assembly decides on the basic lines of its work. Between the General Assemblies the 13-member Council, headed by a 3-member Presidium, guides the work, which is coordinated by the office in Vienna.