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Farewell to Outgoing LWF President Bishop emeritus Christian Krause

German Theologian’s Contribution to Communio and Ecumenical Dialogue

WINNIPEG, Canada, 2 August 2003 - With a prolonged applause and standing ovation, participants in the Tenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) bid farewell to Bishop emeritus Dr Christian Krause, whose six-year term as LWF President officially ended July 31.

Krause was elected to the LWF’s leading position at the 1997 Ninth Assembly in Hong Kong, China. He was bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick, Germany, from 1994 to January 2002.

The newly-elected LWF President, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Presiding Bishop, Mark S. Hanson, expressed deep gratitude for Krause’s leadership. “You have spent your life being an interpreter, interpreting the Lutheran communion to the world, listening to the voices of the world and interpreting those voices for us,” Hanson said amid applause.

Of the audiences’s standing ovation, the ELCA presiding bishop said: “That was our profound gratitude for your lifelong leadership to the [LWF].” He noted: “You never lost your grounding as a Lutheran theologian.”

Hanson commended Krause’s keen leadership of the Luther Center in Wittenberg, describing it as a calling to make the “Luther Stadt to be a center of lively dialogue not only exploring our history but envisioning our future.” Krause is chairperson of the Luther Center in Wittenberg, Germany, an intellectual and spiritual meeting place founded in 1999 to promote the local institutions that focus on Luther, and assist persons interested in the heritage of the Reformation worldwide.

“You have built bridges, you have spoken with clarity and your convictions as a Lutheran theologian. You have … known when to challenge us, when to encourage us, to let us struggle and when to bring us together again,” Hanson said. He expressed deep gratitude for «this legacy that you give to me and to the Federation, and to the whole world.”

In his vote of thanks, LWF General Secretary, Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko commended Krause for keeping “a precise agenda that we have to move beyond the limits that have been set by history and our confessional positions.” He commended the outgoing president also for emphasizing consistently the idea of Eucharistic hospitality with our ecumenical partners. “

The outgoing LWF Treasurer Ms Inger J. Wremer thanked Krause for his ecumenical approach and global perspective, “through which he has encouraged that we should live and function in a reconciled diversity.”

The Tenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is taking place 21-31 July 2003 in Winnipeg, Canada, under the theme "For the Healing of the World." It is being hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).

There are around 820 men, women and youth participants in the Tenth Assembly including 380 delegates from the 133 churches with full membership and three associate members. The Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the LWF, and meets normally every six years. Between Assemblies, the LWF is governed by its Council that meets annually, and by its Executive Committee.

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