The LCA/NZ’s governance and pastoral leaders have issued a report to members after meeting about the division within the church over women’s ordination.

Earlier this year, the General Church Board (GCB) and the College of Bishops (CoB) held a joint meeting on the issue.

This was their second such combined meeting since the 2018 General Convention of Synod, at which a resolution to allow the ordination of women in the LCA/NZ received majority support but failed to garner the two-thirds majority of delegates required for such a change to church practice and teaching.

The result was similar to those of ballots at three previous General Conventions since 2000, in which more than 50 per cent of delegates were in favour of women’s ordination.

The church remains divided on this issue and, despite years of theological study and respectful dialogue and debate, there is no indication that consensus will be reached. The GCB and CoB met to consider what steps might be taken to address this impasse.

After considering all the information they had received, to make the task manageable, GCB and CoB confined the task to considering three potential scenarios, while acknowledging that there may also be others:

Scenario 1: A single LCA/NZ synod, with one teaching and two practices

Scenario 2: A single LCA/NZ synod, with the current teaching upheld

Scenario 3: Multiple LCA/NZ synods – we can no longer stay together (we separate).

The GCB and CoB have assessed each scenario against a number of criteria, including church unity, confessional and biblical identity/integrity, and the impact on gospel proclamation.

The report is now available for church members to read and discuss. A copy has been sent to all pastors, parish and congregation chairs and General Synod delegates.

LCA/NZ Bishop John Henderson said all members of the GCB and the CoB remained committed to the one LCA/NZ, ‘our unity as a synod and our common purpose in Christ. We are Lutheran, and we want to remain so, but first of all we are Christ’s … If we hurt each other, it is really him we hurt’.

You can access the report via the LCA website at

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