For the first time, the board of trustees of Augsburg Fortress Publishers — the publishing ministry of the ELCA — welcomed a full communion partner to serve on the board when it met Oct. 18-19, 2013, in Minneapolis.
New board members include the Rev. Pam Smith, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Clearwater, Fla.; Mark Brokering, vice president of content strategy and acquisitions, Safari Books Online, Mill Valley, Calif.; and the Rev. Sharon Rader, retired bishop of the United Methodist Church. The 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted a full communion agreement with the United Methodist Church, marking the ELCA’s sixth full communion relationship and the first for the United Methodist Church.
The addition of ecumenical positions to the board is in response to a number of governance amendments adopted by the 2013 Churchwide Assembly in an effort to strengthen full communion partnership relationships.
“I affirm the ELCA on being very intentional about full communion partner relationships and making sure they are not just documents on a piece paper,” said Rader. “The ELCA is leading all of us in making the words on paper a reality.”