Get to know the church hosting the Thirteenth Assembly
(LWI) - A unique opportunity to discover the history and the work of the church in Poland which will be hosting the Thirteenth Assembly in Krakow in September. That is what the Assembly Planning Committee, together with the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland (ECACP), is offering through a visitors’ program designed especially for all participants attending the 13 to 19 September event.
“Experience is the best teacher,” says Anna Wrzesińska, chair of the Local Assembly Planning Committee. “Meeting people and seeing the diaconal work in person, we get to exchange perspectives. This is the gift of the pre- and post-Assembly visitors program. You get to experience the wide range of work of the church, and we get to hear from your perspective as well.”
The program is open to everyone and provides an opportunity for a unique cultural exchange. Participants registered to the program are invited to explore destinations in Southwestern Poland and Cieszyn Silesia, where they can experience the church in action and see its diaconal work in parishes and local communities.
Two options before and after the Assembly
“There are two programs on offer, with options to travel either before or after the Assembly,” says Wrzesińska. “The first one starts on 8 September, allowing participants and visitors to be ready for the Assembly program starting on 13 September. The second one starts on 20 September, the day after the Assembly ends. The program ranges from two to four days, depending on the participant’s preference.”
“Those coming to Poland for the Assembly might have questions such as: what does it mean to be Lutheran in Poland? What are the challenges for a minority church in this context? Or, what's our role as a church in the Polish society? These visits would be the chance to find some answers to that while also experiencing our beautiful country” says Wrzesińska.
Each program will have a different emphasis including peace and reconciliation, as well as the life of the church and the Ukrainian refugee response. Wrzesińska says, “caring for Ukrainian refugees is a huge responsibility and topic for our church in Poland nowadays. Visitors will have the chance to experience the special projects we have with the LWF where we strive to address the issue.”
“There are really beautiful things to see in the Southwestern Poland destination sites, for example, a unique church under UNESCO protection. It is a good place to talk about peace and reconciliation and how the church can be a voice of hope” Wrzesińska says.
The destinations in the second program are in the Cieszyn, Silesia region where most Lutherans reside and the largest congregations are located. “We have a stronger representation in society in this region.” says Wrzesińska. “Cieszyn is a beautiful small city divided between Czech Republic and Poland, one of the European Cities of the Reformation. The Lutheran congregation there is one of the largest. Permission to build the Jesus Church there was given in 1709. The Church has the capacity to seat 3500 people. If you have the time and opportunity to join the program, I highly recommend it.”
Those wanting to join the pre and post Assembly visits will be responsible for their own participation fee ranging from 375 Euros to 572 Euros. This will cover local travel, accommodation and meals.
The Thirteenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation takes place 13-19 September 2023 in Krakow, Poland. The theme of the Assembly will be "One Body, One Spirit, One Hope." It will be hosted by the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland.