Lutheran “Women on the Move” – Celebrating a Contribution to the Whole Church

The LWF working group on "Women on the Move" at the statue of Katharina von Bora, during a tour of Luther House and other Reformation landmarks in Wittenberg, Germany. Photo: LWF
The LWF working group on "Women on the Move" at the statue of Katharina von Bora, during a tour of Luther House and other Reformation landmarks in Wittenberg, Germany. Photo: LWF

LWF International Working Group Launches Three-Year Process

(LWI) – An international working group of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) will launch the communion’s “Women on the Move” process on 22 February as part of the preparations for the 500th Reformation anniversary.

The “Women on the Move – From Wittenberg to Windhoek” (WMWW) conceptualizes a movement that will include all the LWF member churches in articulating the fundamental contribution of women to Lutheran witness in the entire church and in society.

At the group’s first meeting, 22-25 February, in Wittenberg, the city of Reformer Martin Luther, the 23 women theologians and church leaders from all the seven LWF regions will develop a framework to implement “Women on the Move” from 2015 until the anniversary year 2017, which coincides with the LWF Twelfth Assembly.

The group coordinated by the LWF Women in Church and Society (WICAS) program will develop a work plan around four thematic approaches namely, women in leadership and decision making; women doing theology; documenting a series of “her-stories” accounts of women’s experiences and contribution to the on-going Reformation; and how the LWF Gender Justice Policy can help to empower churches in their respective realities and contexts.

LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge emphasizes the importance of this process in helping the LWF communion to understand women’s concerns as not only pertaining to a certain group but to the whole church. “It is more fundamentally about the church wanting to become an expression of being a reconciled body, being carried by the word of God, and inspired by the eschatological vision of the human family living together,” he says.

The topics being elaborated are “not on behalf of women […] but on behalf of the church and the Lutheran communion,” Junge adds.

He reminds the participants that the outset of the Reformation was anchored in a movement of mainly young people who mobilized in tremendous ways in order to convey anew what God’s word meant to them in their contexts.

“I hope therefore that ‘Women on the Move’ is going to help us remember that Reformation is and remains a movement—of God’s spirit in this world, of a wind that you cannot control, that reaches into people’s hearts and minds and gets people into movement.”

In addition to other resources, the WMWW platform will feature “Her-stories” from the different LWF regions, starting with some of the first ordained women in Lutheran churches. Women leaders from the LWF member churches will also reflect on opportunities and challenges relating to the global movement of celebrating 500 years of the Reformation.