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  Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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ContributorGerald Farinas 
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DescriptionEvangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America resulted from a union of three North American Lutheran church bodies: The American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America.

The three churches agreed to unite in 1982. They formed a 70-member Commission for a New Lutheran Church, which planned the merger. The plan was approved by church conventions in 1986, and the ELCA constituting convention was held April 30-May 3, 1987, with the church actually beginning operations on January 1, 1988.

The ELCA meets in assembly every two years; at its 2001 Churchwide Assembly it elected its third bishop, The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, who will be eligible for re-election at the 2007 Churchwide Assembly.
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