Church leadership consultation in Bratislava focuses on response to Ukraine crisis and 2023 Krakow Assembly
(LWI) - As conflict continues to force thousands of Ukrainians to flee from their country each day, Lutheran leaders from across the Central Eastern European region are meeting in neighboring Slovakia this week to discuss the church’s role in promoting peace and reconciliation. Representatives from most of the 16 churches in the region are gathered in Bratislava from 19 to 21 October for their first in-person leadership consultation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The response of their churches to the Ukraine crisis is high on the agenda, alongside a focus on the Thirteenth Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Assembly to be held in Poland next year. That event will mark only the second time, since its foundation 75 years ago, that the LWF’s highest decision-making body has met in this region.
Addressing delegates gathered at the opening session, LWF President Archbishop Dr. Panti Filibus Musa reflected on the growing challenges of conflict, inequality, religious nationalism, climate change, human rights violations and the mass displacement of people, as well as the ongoing effects of the pandemic in many parts of the globe. This list of problems “seems to grow each day,” he said, “challenging us to dig deep into the wells of our spiritual, theological and ethical resources to respond adequately.