Lutheran pastor Skupch is the first woman president of Argentine ecumenical body

IERP General Secretary Rev. Sonia Skupch at a past LWF event. She becomes the first woman to be elected as President of the Ecumenical Commission of Christian Churches in Argentina. Photo: LWF/Eugenio Albrecht
IERP General Secretary Rev. Sonia Skupch at a past LWF event. She becomes the first woman to be elected as President of the Ecumenical Commission of Christian Churches in Argentina. Photo: LWF/Eugenio Albrecht

A forum that strives for unity and peace in a fragmented world

(LWI) – Lutheran pastor Rev. Sonia Skupch was recently elected President of the Ecumenical Commission of Christian Churches in Argentina (CEICA), becoming the first woman leader of the national forum of Anglican, Protestant, Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

“I have been committed to the ecumenical dialogue for years. I am willing to continue offering my contribution and working with the others in the best way possible. Thank you for the trust you have placed in me for this task," said Skupch, general secretary of the Evangelical Church of the River Plate (IERP).

Established in 1988, CEICA is the only Christian platform in Argentina with such a diverse representation. Its 15 member churches mutually recognize the validity of baptism in each other’s church.

Dialogue leads us to love each other and give a clear message of unity and peace in a suffering and fragmented world.
Rev. Sonia Skupch, President–elect, Ecumenical Commission of Christian Churches in Argentina

Explaining the work of the forum, Skupch said it promotes ecumenical dialogue, understanding and cooperation between the member churches, “believing that dialogue leads us to love each other and give a clear message of unity and peace in a suffering and fragmented world.” CEICA, she added, “is also aware of the importance of our apostolic responsibility regarding the problems in our world today.”

Skupch will assume her position in February 2018, completing the term of outgoing president Bishop Frank de Nully Brown of the Evangelical Methodist Church in Argentina. At its 9 November meeting, CEICA also elected two vice-presidents—Metropolitan Archbishop Crisóstomo Ghassali of the Archdiocese of Argentina of the Syrian Orthodox Church, and an official of the Episcopal Conference of Argentina, who the Catholic Church is yet to name.

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has two member churches in Argentina, IERP and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church, both of which are actively engaged in CEICA. Skupch previously served on the LWF Council.