Speaker Bishop Dr Margot Kässmann:
World Seeks Orientation
and is Crying out to be Healed
Dr Margot Kässmann, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover (ELCH),
Germany, sees the LWF Tenth Assembly as an important opportunity
"to verify our common roots in the Christian faith and our
Lutheran tradition." The 44-year-old bishop will be the
keynote speaker at the Assembly in Winnipeg. "I am looking forward to the Assembly," she says. It is a
"great honor, but also a great responsibility" to be one
of the main speakers. "I hope I will be up to it,"
she told the Assembly Update.
As the keynote speaker
focusing on the Assembly theme, "For the Healing of the World,"
the Hanover bishop notes that "our world seeks orientation and
the world torn by war and injustice seeks healing. The
Lutheran churches should raise their voices from Winnipeg on both
issues," she stresses.
Elected bishop of the
Hanover church in 1999, Kässmann is currently the second of three
women bishops in Germany. After studying theology in
Tübingen, Edinburgh, Göttingen and Marburg, she became an
assistant pastor in Wolfhagen in 1983. After completing her
theology degree she was ordained in 1985 and together with her
husband, served in the Frielendorf parish. In 1989 she earned
her doctorate from Bochum's Ruhr University on the topic "Poverty
and Wealth - A Challenge to Church Unity." From 1990 to
1992 she coordinated the development service of the Evangelical
Church in Kurhessen-Waldeck, and worked as a conference director at
the Protestant Academy of Hofgeismar, 1992-94. She was
appointed general secretary of the German Protestant Kirchentag in
Fulda in 1994, and served in this position until her election as
bishop of Hanover.
From 1983 to 2002 Kässmann was a
member the Central Committee of the Geneva-based World Council of
Churches, and served on its Executive Committee from 1991 to
1998. Kässmann and her husband have four daughters.
Hanover church has just below 3.3 million members and is the largest
Lutheran church in Germany. It was one of the founding members
of the LWF in Lund, Sweden, in 1947.
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