In communion we are stronger

The new bishop of the Evangelical Church in Württemberg, Ernst-Wilhelm Gohl, (l.) and his predecessor Frank Otfried July. Photo: Gottfried Stoppel 
The new bishop of the Evangelical Church in Württemberg, Ernst-Wilhelm Gohl, (l.) and his predecessor Frank Otfried July. Photo: Gottfried Stoppel 

LWF General Secretary greets outgoing and incoming bishops in Württemberg

(LWI) – In a message of greeting to Bishop Frank Otfried July, outgoing leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Württemberg, Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary Rev. Anne Burghardt thanked him for his “insightful and dedicated service.” Her predecessor in office, Rev. Dr. Martin Junge, conveyed the greeting on 24 July. The new leader of the German member church of the LWF is Bishop Ernst-Wilhelm Gohl.

“Your ministry has been filled with the awareness that what we do locally has an impact on lives globally, and vice versa,” Burghardt wrote to Bishop July. “There are not many people who succeed in linking the different levels of our engagement, the local and the global. You have done this with great success, and today I thank you very much.”

July is a member of the LWF Council, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg and chair of the German National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation (GNC/LWF). He will continue to serve in these offices until the Thirteenth Assembly in September 2023.

Looking forward to good collaboration

“Today, we face enormous challenges as churches, as societies and as humanity,” the LWF General Secretary wrote, addressing the incoming Bishop Gohl. “No human being, but also no church, can face these challenges on their own, which is why we need to be in communion. We need each other to share our experiences, to support each other.”

She said being in communion is necessary so that we can act together and “proclaim the Good News of the Gospel in a way that is appealing and understandable.” In addition, it is a foundation “to work for a just peace in the face of the ongoing war in Eastern Europe,” to “actively support efforts for climate justice and the creation care,” to help refugees and those in need, and to “bring justice to the marginalized,” Burghardt wrote, adding that she looked forward to “good and fruitful collaboration” in the future.

By LWF/A. Weyermüller 

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