The Commemoration of the 500 Years of Reformation will take place in the Samuel Nujoma Stadium in Katutura (Windhoek) on Sunday, May 14th, 2017. On this day in the Easter Season, the Lutheran communion from around the world gathers to commemorate and celebrate the Reformation. The Assembly delegates, visitors and volunteers will be joined together with eight to nine thousand people coming from all over Namibia in the Stadium.
As we commemorate this special anniversary, we do so in a very different manner and circumstance than previous centennials. In the Stadium, it will become visible that the Reformation is a global citizen, that we are ecumenically accountable, and that we are all part of an on-going reformation in church and world.
The Gathering section of this service of Holy Communion will focus on seven testimonies from around the world that describe how faith has spread, how it has taken root, and how it has broken down walls. The Gospel has brought liberation. These testimonies attest to the beauty and power of the Gospel and to the on-going nature of reform.
The readings (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Psalm 51, Romans 1:16-17 and John 8:31-36) remind us that God establishes a new covenant with us. We are part of God’s new creation. We have been freed from all forms of slavery to live out the joy of forgiveness, rooted in God alone. The truth of the Gospel is our freedom. Bishop Zephania Kameeta will preach on these texts, inviting us into the good pattern that these Scripture readings hold for us. Bishop Kameeta is a prominent religious and political leader in Namibia, author, theologian, resistance leader against apartheid and today Namibian Minister for Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.
After hearing and encountering the Word in Scripture, we pray. We intercede for the whole world and for all our sisters and brothers in need. This prayer leads us into a celebration of Holy Communion, gathering around the Table not only to hear God’s Word but to taste it. In Holy Communion, we are called to a community, bearing each others’ burden (Gal 6:2), serving one another and the world in need.
Just before being sent out from this commemoration of the Reformation, we will listen to a dialogue between two reformers, an older person and a younger one. They reflect on what the Reformation was and what it is and what it is challenged to be in the world today. We sing, we are blessed, we process out and join together in a communal lunch.
The Twelfth Assembly of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) will take place 10-16 May 2017 in Windhoek, Namibia, under the theme “Liberated by God’s Grace”. Almost 800 participants — including nearly 400 delegates from the 145 LWF member churches in 98 countries worldwide — will participate. The assembly is the highest LWF decision-making body and meets every six to seven years.
The Assembly will give general direction to the work of the LWF for the next years. It will speak out on issues concerning the life and witness of the churches and the world. It will elect the LWF President and Council to serve until the next Assembly. At the Assembly the LWF will commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
The Assembly is hosted by the three Namibian member churches of the LWF, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia-German Evangelical Lutheran Church.