LWF welcomes Bishop July’s election as chairperson of the German National Committee

Württemberg Bishop Dr Frank O. July is installed as the new chairperson of the German National Committee, in Hanover, Germany. Photo: GNC
Württemberg Bishop Dr Frank O. July is installed as the new chairperson of the German National Committee, in Hanover, Germany. Photo: GNC

LWF President Musa calls for continuous cooperation to promote global peace and reconciliation

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa has welcomed today’s election of Württemberg Bishop Frank O. July as the new chairperson of the German National Committee (GNC), and thanked the GNC for its vital role of facilitating and nurturing relationships in the Lutheran communion.

Speaking in Hanover during a worship service to install July as GNC chairperson, Musa thanked the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Württemberg for his service, leadership and strong support not only for the German churches but also for the global LWF.

Formerly GNC’s deputy chair, July served as LWF Vice-President for Central Western Europe from 2010 to 2017, chairperson of the board of trustees of the Strasbourg Institute for Ecumenical Research, and co-chair of the LWF Center Wittenberg. He succeeds outgoing chairperson Bishop Gerhard Ulrich, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany (Nordkirche).

“It is reassuring to know that with your strong roots and background in the LWF, and your insights and experience of the LWF as a global communion of churches, you will give continuation to the good leadership offered by your predecessor,” the LWF president said.

Musa invited the new GNC leader to continue to witness together to the gospel of Jesus Christ as a global communion of churches at a time of rapid change, uncertainty, anxiety and fear. He also thanked Ulrich for his personal commitment to the Lutheran communion.

Traction between the local and global

The LWF president emphasized the important role of the GNC, describing it as “that transmission belt that safeguards traction between the local and the global.” It enables “a bringing and a taking, an offering and a receiving of gifts and resources at both ends” of the communion, he added.

“In times of fragmentation with all its attitudes of withdrawal, let’s continue working for unity and cooperation… offering tangible signs of hope to a world looking for peace and reconciliation,” Musa urged.

July expressed his joy over the election, thanking member church delegates, and noting that the GNC, which represents more than 11 million church members in Germany, is an important part of the LWF.

It is good for us in Germany to understand ourselves as part of the worldwide communion of Lutherans, with their needs, problems, but also with their hopes and joys.
Bishop Frank O. July new chairperson of the LWF German National Committee

“It is good for us in Germany to understand ourselves as part of the worldwide communion of Lutherans, with their needs, problems, but also with their hopes and joys,” he said. “So, in a global world, we really are part of a global church. I am looking forward.”

The GNC also elected a new deputy chair, Regional Bishop Kristina Kühnbaum-Schmidt from Thüringia. Kühnbaum-Schmidt was recently elected as Nordkirche bishop, and she will take over from Ulrich next April.

 

German National Committee (GNC )