Beate Fagerli: The Church – Towards a Common Vision & Church of Norway


A basis for ecclesiological self-reflection? Anything to learn from the process? 


Church and state separation:

  • The leading up to the state/church separation
  • Step by step process
  • Change of Norwegian constitution, May 21, 2012
    • The state of Norway no longer constitutionally an evangelical-lutheran state
    • Church of Norway remains the Norwegian Folk church
    • The King of Norway´s veto

  • National process:”Kirke nå” – Church now – Being an Evangelical-Lutheran Church in an Ecumenical Context
  • International process:
    • The Nature and Mission of the Church
    • Other ecumenical processes, including reflections on the meaning of church agreements, church  fellowships and church commnions.

Building a New Church Order:

  • Step 1: New constitution: 
  • ”Den norske kirkes grunnlag” – ”Basis of Church of Norway”
    • A first constitutional draft
    • Theological commission´s comments: Vision, confession, the Barmen declaration, the constitution of other Lutheran churches etc
    • Needs: Aim/vision of the church, doctrinal basis in modern language and guideline for the structures, describe the identity of the church as local, national and belonging to the universal church, word and sacraments, define the church´s mission, principles of membership, democratic structures etc
  • Step 2: Church structures
  • Theological implications:
    • ”Folkekirke nå” - ”Folk church now”
    • The vision of the Church
    • The confessional heritage
    • Relations between church bodies. Synod and Bishops´Conference, National Council and Bishops´Conference, role of Ecumenical and Sámi Councils, doctrinal commission etc.

Parallel Ecumenical Processes:

  • ”The Church – Towards a Common Vision”
  • CWME: ”Together towards life” (Mission)
  • (The Diakonia document)
  • CPCE/Leuenberg: Ministry – Ordination – Episkopé
  • LWF: Lund document
  • Concepts of church agreements, church fellowships, church communions – what is Koinonia?

Summing up: Ecumenical Influence when building a new church order:

  • Episkopé: synod vs bishops
  • Apostolicity, ordination and ministry
  • Local – (regional) - national – universal church, and the understanding of koinonia

Other issues:

  • Sami – Norwegian reconciliation processes
  • Sámi theology: ecology and koinonia
  • Norwegians and nature: church and climate
  • Role of the Youth synod
  • Dialogue with other religions
  • Ecumenism in Norway in changing landscapes
  • St Olav and pilgrimage – CoN logo – how to connect that to A Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace?

Beate Fagerli

Den Norske kirke


Seniorrådgiver, avdeling for økumenikk og internasjonale relasjoner

Suomen Ekumeeninen Neuvosto / Ekumeniska Rådet i Finland       Eteläranta 8 / Södra kajen 8            PL / PB 210          00131 Helsinki / Helsingfors

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