Austrian Pastor Tendis among victims of Ethiopian Airlines crash

Norman was on his way to Nairobi in order to attend the UN Environment Assembly and the launch of the campaign “Roadmap for Congregations, Communities and Churches for an Economy of Life and Ecological Justice”. Photo: LWF/S. Gallay
Norman was on his way to Nairobi in order to attend the UN Environment Assembly and the launch of the campaign “Roadmap for Congregations, Communities and Churches for an Economy of Life and Ecological Justice”. Photo: LWF/S. Gallay

LWF sends sincere condolences to family and church

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has expressed sincere condolences to the family of Rev. Norman Tendis of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Austria, who was among the victims of the fatal Ethiopian Airlines that crashed on Sunday, 10 March.

“On behalf of the LWF, my heart goes out to the family of Pastor Tendis, the entire church in which he ministered, as you all seek solace and guidance from God in these difficult times,” LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge said in a condolence letter to the LWF member church today.

On behalf of the LWF, my heart goes out to the family of Pastor Tendis, the entire church in which he ministered, as you all seek solace and guidance from God in these difficult times.
LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge

Ethiopian authorities have confirmed that all the 157 people on board perished following the crash that occurred shortly after takeoff from Bole International Airport in the capital Addis Ababa on Sunday morning en route to Nairobi.

The Austrian pastor was a consultant for the Economy of Life programme of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and was on his way to a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) conference starting in Nairobi, Kenya, this week. He was due to make a presentation on the church’s vision and ecological engagement locally and active involvement in the issue of climate justice. “We thank Pastor Tendis for his visionary role and the many efforts he has initiated in the church and beyond,” Junge wrote to the head of the church, Bishop Dr Michael Bünker.

Tendis participated in the 2017 LWF Twelfth Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia, representing the WCC. He contributed to discussions on the assembly sub-themes emphasizing that salvation, human beings and creation are “not for sale.”

In his words of comfort to the LWF member church and to the family of Tendis, Junge prays for comfort in Scripture, and refers to Psalm 23. “It is our faith and hope that Pastor Tendis now dwells in the everlasting presence of God. In the same hope, we entrust ourselves to God’s Word, and pray for God’s steadfast guidance through the dark valleys of shock, pain and sadness, trusting that God will not let go of our hands.”