Community of Protestant Churches in Europe welcomes its 106th member
It's official: the Iglesia Evangélica Luterana del Ecuador (IELE) has now become the 106th church to join the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE). The formal agreement was ceremoniously signed by the CPCE's President Thomas Wipf and retired Senior Church Councillor Rüdiger Schloz, a serving minister until 2009 and now representative for the Church in Quito, on the occasion of the 7th General Assembly of the CPCE in Florence.
Opening the ceremony, President Wipf explained that the Council had approved the acceptance of the IELE into the CPCE on the basis that the church was originally founded by European emigrants to the country and to this day still looks towards Europe for its inspiration. It is the hope of the CPCE and, at the same time, intention of the IELE that the fellowship between the different confessions in South America might be given a considerable boost by this move.
Rüdiger Schloz also described the particularly European affiliation of his church in historic cultural terms. The 300 members of this emigrant church, which was founded back in the 1940s, have remained in close contact with their European brethren to this day. Having already signed the Leuenberg Agreement in 2008, Scholz now welcomes this new opportunity for his small church to participate in theological dialogue with the other member churches of the CPCE.