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Participating in an LWF Assembly for the First Time ] [ Participating in an LWF Assembly for the First Time ]

Participating in an LWF Assembly for the First Time

Papua New Guinea Bishop Kigasung: "The Assembly Was very Special to Me"

For Papua New Guinea Bishop Wesley Kigasung, the excitement about attending a world Assembly for the first time in oneís life presents mixed feelings. Kigasung, 52, head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG), was 46 years-old when he participated for the first time, in a Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Assembly. Seven months after the 1997 LWF Ninth Assembly in Hong Kong, China, he was elected bishop of his church. Kigasung, who will be a delegate to the 2003 LWF Tenth Assembly in Winnipeg, Canada, spoke to Assembly Update about his expectations and experiences at the last Assembly:

"What will we see there; who will we meet; what kind of atmosphere are we going to experience; will we find our way around the place and not get lost; what are we expected to do as delegates and how much is expected of us. Then there are the concerns about the main issues to be discussed at the assembly and whether the delegates will be able to comprehend everything said and discussed.

As a young theologian attending an LWF Assembly for the first time, those were the type of questions in my mind as I went to Hong Kong, China for the LWF Ninth Assembly. But I must say that I was impressed with the way I was able to find my way around the Assembly venue, between meeting places, eating places, hotels, and so onówith much ease and I experienced less fear of being lost. I was able to follow all the proceedings, discussions and debates with no problem. I was even surprised that I was able to participate in the worship service and also had the opportunity to contribute to an issue on the Assembly floor.

The Assembly to me was very special in the way it brought people of different races, nationalities and languages together as a communion of believers and Christian witnesses. The expression of life in worship and culture and studies brought together the different dimensions of human life and experiences which were so rich and powerful."

The ELC-PNG is one of the two LWF member churches in Papua New Guinea. It has 815,000 members, and joined the LWF in 1976.

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