Ecumenical relations and a review of new membership applications on the agenda
(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council meets this week to review recent developments in the global communion of churches, with discussions including three new membership applications, a statement on the 2016-2022 International Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue, and approval of a complaints handling mechanism for the Code of Conduct for LWF Governance.
Regular business such as financial reporting, updates from the General Secretary and a progress review of the LWF strategy will also be on the agenda of the 8 to 9 June online meeting. The session will be the last full business meeting of the current Council which concludes its mandate at the Thirteenth Assembly in Krakow in September.
As the worldwide communion of churches continues to grow, Council members will be reviewing three new applications for membership. Following in the wake of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine being welcomed as the 149th member in 2022, an application has now been received from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Georgia. Both churches were previously members of the LWF through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States (ELCROS) but a decision was taken, following conversations in 2019 and 2021, to approve applications for individual memberships.
Communion of churches continues to grow
Two other churches have applied for membership. One is the Lutheran Church in Cambodia, which has grown out of mission activity by the Lutheran Church in Singapore. The second is the Geraia Niho Keriso Protestant Church in Indonesia. If their initial applications are approved, both churches will be invited to get to know the LWF better and demonstrate their commitment through participation in activities and programs. According to the current procedures, after two years, the Council will vote for the second time to confirm their membership.
Recent ecumenical activities will also be under the spotlight during the Council meeting, with members asked to receive a statement on the International Lutheran Pentecostal Dialogue. Initiated in the Philippines in 2016, the dialogue brought together delegates from the LWF and the Pentecostal World Fellowship who have been discussing Christian identity and ministry, the importance of proclaiming the gospel in word and deed, attention to the marginalized and the ministries of healing and deliverance.
Other business on the agenda for Council members will include the approval of financial reports and budgets for 2024, as well as reviewing the complaints handling mechanism for the new Code of Conduct for LWF governance which was published in February this year. The General Secretary will also present a progress review of the current LWF Strategy.