ELCA NEWS SERVICE
January 26, 2010
ELCA, Other North American Lutherans Prepare for Regional LWF Pre-Assembly
GENEVA (LWI) -- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) Eastern Synod will host this week's North American region preparatory meeting for the 2010 Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). The LWF's eleventh assembly will take place in July in Stuttgart, Germany, under the theme "Give Us Today Our Daily Bread."
The North America Pre-Assembly Consultation (NAPAC) is to be held Jan. 29-31 in Kitchener, Ontario. About 40 delegates, youth stewards and advisers from the three LWF member churches in the region, and staff, are planning to attend. More than half of the delegates are from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), including the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop and the current LWF president.
Other churches represented are the ELCIC and the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad. With the ELCA, the churches comprise 4.9 million members in North America.
"The LWF Eleventh Assembly theme, 'Give Us Today Our Daily Bread,' is an important opportunity for a contextualized reflection and envisioning of new ways to respond as members of a global communion to challenges such as world hunger, eradication of poverty and other related global issues amid the current financial crisis and high unemployment rate, while also responding to great calamities and disasters," said Rev. Teresita Valeriano, the LWF Regional Officer for North America. "It is also important to be prepared as a region to engage in other global communion matters such as the election of new leaders, ecumenical relations and diakonia."
Welcoming the consultation to Kitchener, ELCIC Eastern Synod Bishop Michael J. Pryse said the LWF event coincides with significant preparations in the church. "I am delighted that our synod has been granted the opportunity to host this important event in the life of the global Lutheran communion, particularly as we prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of our predecessor body, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Canada in 2011," he said.
"I trust that the delegates to the pre-assembly gathering will experience many blessings during their time in our midst and be further strengthened and prepared for their important work at the Stuttgart Assembly later this year," he added.
In preparation for the LWF Eleventh Assembly, the NAPAC will discuss issues related to the "Proposed Guidelines and Processes for Respectful Dialogue on Marriage, Family and Human Sexuality," presented to the 2007 LWF Council meeting in Lund, Sweden. It will also prepare a regional response on economic and climate justice titled "Witness to Hope Amidst Today's Crises," focus on communication-related issues and study the LWF Report "From Winnipeg to Stuttgart," which gives an account of the organization's work since the 2003 Tenth Assembly in Winnipeg, Canada.
The Rev. Ishmael Noko, LWF general secretary, and Hanson will address the NAPAC participants.
"'Give us today our daily bread' connects us to all of humanity and to all of God's creation," said Hanson. "It causes us to ask, 'Who are those who are hungry in our community?' And, 'Why is there still hunger in a world of such abundance?'"
Women's and youth events will precede the NAPAC meeting.
The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. The LWF currently has 140 member churches in 79 countries throughout the world, with a total membership of 68.9 million.
* Lutheran World Information prepared this report.
Information about the Lutheran World Federation and the NAPAC meeting is at
http://www.ELCA.org/lwf on the ELCA Web site.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or email@example.com