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Welcome from the LWF President
"Affirming our Global Solidarity"
Bishop em. Dr
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
The theme which we have chosen for our Tenth Assembly, "For
the Healing of the World," is a signal for Christians, pointing
to "something more" and pointing beyond ourselves. The
concept of "healing" brings out different aspects such as
saving the creation, resolving conflicts among nations, between
different ethnic groups and between rich and poor, and engaging the
challenge of globalization. It brings out images of hope in the
midst of suffering, health where there is sickness, service where
there is need and reconciliation where there is brokenness. The
Assembly gives us the opportunity to affirm a global solidarity
which, for us, is firmly rooted in our Christian faith and our
Lutheran confession. In so many ways, the theme connects with the
work we do together within the Federation.
As President of the LWF, in my visits with the member churches, I
have seen how this theme has particular meaning and promise in
different contexts. For example, the Malagasy Lutheran Church has
integrated the inter-confessional Malagasy "Shepherd"
revival movement to establish an identity whose purpose is the
healing of society. In Papua New Guinea, meetings with church
leaders and the Prime Minister highlighted the great need for
reconciliation when the country is faced with instability associated
with many conflicts, as well as social and environmental problems.
It is clear that the church has a leading role to play in bringing
healing to a troubled world. More than ever, this calls for a global
solidarity, especially in the face of globalizationís negative
Global solidarity is necessary to face the human tragedy of HIV/AIDS
which has grown to horrible proportions in Africa and spreads
rapidly in Asia, and which destroys the fabric of families and
society itself. In response, the LWF has taken bold steps so that
the member churches and LWF programs can work with urgency and
strong cooperation to bring hope and healing. In another critical
area, our communion of churches has stated unequivocally that
churches say "No" to violence against women. We are
working strongly to make this commitment a living reality in all
settings where the LWF has a presence. In the setting of the
Assembly, we will review our work together and make decisions for
An Assembly is also the occasion to hear one another as Lutherans
from different regions of the world, expressing opinions in the
context of our different cultures and understanding of the Lutheran
Confession. Reconciling this diversity and integrating the various
streams of Lutherans is a major task for the LWF, at the same time
as we are seeking to strengthen ecumenical togetherness and openness.
Within the communion, we are able to respect our own identity and
roots while recognizing we are part of a whole and not a whole unto
With such a rich history, and a provocative theme, it is my hope
and prayer that the voices of Assembly delegates and participants
will speak with boldness and compassion when we gather in Winnipeg.
If we speak now about pointing beyond ourselves, then it reflects
the grace of God which has been given to us in Jesus Christ, whose
spirit and love are indeed "for the healing of the world."
Bishop em. Dr Christian Krause
The Lutheran World Federation
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