LWF General Secretary Martin Junge Attends Reformation Event in Goslar, Germany

LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge (right) with the Bishop of Brunswick Prof. Dr. Friedrich Weber (center), Jan Waclawek (left), Bishop of the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic, and other guests during the walk through the city of Goslar. Photo: DNK/LWF. Hübner
LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge (right) with the Bishop of Brunswick Prof. Dr. Friedrich Weber (center), Jan Waclawek (left), Bishop of the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic, and other guests during the walk through the city of Goslar. Photo: DNK/LWF. Hübner

Joint Commitment for Peace and Understanding

(LWI) – The strong link between the local history of the Reformation in Goslar and the world-wide impact of the Reformation was the central topic for a two-day international event organized in Goslar, Germany. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick issued the invitations to this event which took place on 13 - 14 March 2014 with the title “Weltbürgerin Reformation” (Reformation as a global citizen). Along with participants from Goslar, international participation was ensured by the involvement of Rev. Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation and representatives of partner churches of the Brunswick Church.

The event highlighted the impact of the Reformation in the fields of education, politics and culture. Protagonists from all sections of civil society participated in the event, among others the grammar school Ratsgymnasium and the City of Goslar. Provost Thomas Gunkel, speaking as host in Goslar, explained the reasons for extending the invitation to civil society and to international partners: “We do not want to live out our faith as if in a separate compartment, but as global citizens, open to the world and in curiosity about what others have to say“.

Education, Politics, Culture

On Thursday the event included a procession-style walk through the city, with various stations along the route where the main themes of the Reformation were explained in detail. Pupils from the Ratsgymnasium had prepared short theatrical presentations for this in which one of the schoolgirls personified the Reformation as a global citizen. In these plays the pupils emphasized that education is a great step on the way to growing closer together and to overcoming our differences. In addition the figure of the Reformation as a global citizen acted as an advocate for religious tolerance and the equality of all human people.

The Lord Mayor of Goslar, Dr. Oliver Junk, praised the good cooperative involvement between politics and the church in Goslar. The relationship between the church and politics was also taken up by the Bishop of Brunswick, Prof. Dr. Friedrich Weber, in his address during the closing Eucharist. He saw it as a task of the church to make an active contribution to the city, “the Christian life is life only when set in the political framework, such as in the city of Goslar“. As a symbol of this strong link, a special Council candle has been placed in the central Marktkirche church, which is lit during every meeting of the city council.

The bi-lingual worship service included the active participation of guests from the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church in India, the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia and the Anglican Diocese of Blackburn in England. A musical program underlined the influence of the Reformation on culture.

Common Links expressed in Joint Commitment

“Three words have become important for the Reformation as global citizen: justice, peace and reconciliation,“ said LWF General Secretary Junge in a public address in the Ratsgymnasium. He emphasized the world-wide links between the churches that are united within The Lutheran World Federation and underlined their joint commitment, in which the Church in Brunswick is also involved as one of the 142 LWF member churches. “And so it is that your regional state church joins in harmony with 141 other churches all around the world in the song of loving our neighbor, of ecumenical understanding, of inter-religious dialogue and of caring companionship“.

At the close of the event, a tree was planted in front of both the Ratsgymnasium and the Marktkirche. These are two partner trees of the tree which a delegation from Goslar had planted a week earlier in the Luther Garden in Wittenberg. The apple tree variety “Nordhausen beauty“ bears the number 248 in the Luther Garden.

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