Churches Urged to Join in Reformation 2017 Celebrations
25 May 2012
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member churches in Latin America and the Caribbean affirmed that their continuing commitment to environmental justice is integral to the Lutheran identity.
At the 23-27 April regional Church Leadership Conference (COL) in Florianopolis, Brazil, under the theme “Rereading our Common and Unique Lutheran Identity in Latin America and the Caribbean,” they pledged to work ecumenically and with civil society.
“Together with our sisters and brothers living in vulnerable conditions and suffering the effects of climate change, we propose alternatives to advocate and support models that build sustainable life for everyone,” they said in a final message.
Affirming the participation of all church members in the leadership of the church, they highlighted the “long journey and ministry of women in the region” and embraced the task of working for the inclusion of young people in decision making.
The COL leaders committed to stimulating the education of future leaders through opportunities for learning exchanges with a mind to strengthening the Lutheran identity.
They urged church members to join in the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, exhorting them to “walk as pilgrims,” seeking justice and strengthening the ties of the global communion.
COL moderator, Bishop Eduardo Martinez of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia, which will host the LWF Council meeting in June, said focus on environmental justice was crucial as current development models that sacrifice life and profit the few dramatically affect the region.
On inclusiveness and participation, Martinez emphasized that the involvement of women and youth in decision making at COL is deeply tied to their engagement in the local churches, where there is recognition about their contribution and the different gifts that they bring in the body of Christ.