LWF General Secretary joins delegates from European regions reviewing journey ‘from Windhoek to Krakow’
(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) was founded in 1947 as “a peace project” that brought together churches in countries that had previously “been standing on opposite sides of the frontline.” Speaking at the first regional Pre-Assembly in Europe, where a new conflict has sparked the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Anne Burghardt reflected on the role of the organization today, as it prepares for the Thirteenth Assembly in Poland in September.
In her message to delegates from the Eastern, Western and Nordic regions, Burghardt talked about the “four founding pillars” of the global communion of churches, which came together at the end of the war to promote joint efforts in theology, mission, Christian unity and refugee relief work. Alongside the urgency of responding to the plight of the refugees, she noted how church leaders, who had been on opposite sides of the conflict, were able to work together again because they had built friendships in pre-war times. “Never underestimate the importance of coming together,” she insisted.
Seventy-five years on, Burghardt told participants gathered at Mansfield College, Oxford, the LWF talks about those pillars in terms of “holistic mission and its different aspects of proclamation, worship, public witness and diakonia.” A key task facing Assembly delegates, she added, is “how to ensure a balance” between these four aspects of mission and how to “listen, to hear and understand the real questions and concerns” of people in their churches today.