Wittenberg: Bringing together people from all over the world

International guests move from the Town Church to the premises of the LWF Center Wittenberg and the ELCA Wittenberg Center during the joint anniversary celebrations. Photo: GNC/LWF Florian Hübner
International guests move from the Town Church to the premises of the LWF Center Wittenberg and the ELCA Wittenberg Center during the joint anniversary celebrations. Photo: GNC/LWF Florian Hübner

LWF Center and ELCA Center Celebrate 10th and 20th Anniversaries

(LWI) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Wittenberg Center, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It joined hands to celebrate the anniversary with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Wittenberg Center which celebrates 20 years of presence in the city of Martin Luther. The two centers also inaugurated a common office space, which will bring them together in service to visitors from around the world.

At a service in the Town Church where Martin Luther himself had also preached, the Director of the LWF Center, Rev. Inken Wöhlbrand, and the Director of the ELCA Wittenberg Center, Rev. Dr Robert Moore, preached together, alternating between English and German. They emphasized that the work of the two centers in Wittenberg focuses on bringing together people from all over the world.

In our seminars people from countries all over the world and every continent come together and experience communion. This changes our view of the world and each other.
Rev. Inken Wöhlbrand, Director of the LWF Center Wittenberg

“In our seminars people from countries all over the world and every continent come together and experience communion. This changes our view of the world and each other,” Wöhlbrand explains. “Of course, we know that we share one world. But with the experience of eating, praying and studying together, this knowledge moves from the head to the heart.” Moore emphasized that God's invitation to humankind is not tied to conditions or personal achievements: "Whenever the church preaches a conditional gospel we have made the invitation of God into a deal."

Representatives of ELCA, the LWF and the German National Committee of the LWF (GNC/LWF) participated in the service, including three participants of the LWF 3rd International Lay Leaders’ Seminar held at the LWF Centre at the time. Following the service, a reception was held at a newly erected building at Jüdenstraße 9, where both organizations have moved into new premises some weeks ago. The long-time co-chairperson of the advisory board of the LWF Center, Bishop Dr Gerhard Ulrich, offered a blessing and a prayer for the work in the new building. The traditional house blessing C+M+B (Christ Mansionem Benedicat – Christ bless this house) is also written above the entrance door.

At the reception, four speakers paid tribute to the work of the centers: Lord Mayor Torsten Zugehör for Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Rev. Dr Ireneusz Lukas, LWF Area Secretary for Europe, Rev. Dr Rafael Malpica, Executive Director of ELCA Global Mission, and Oberkirchenrat Norbert Denecke, Director of the GNC/LWF.

Video from the LWF Wittenberg Center Anniversary

Photos from the LWF Wittenberg Center Anniversary


The LWF Center Wittenberg was founded in 2008 and began its work in 2009. It conducts international seminars on Lutheran theology with a global perspective and supports conferences and international visitor groups in Wittenberg. The ELCA Wittenberg Center is an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It supports visitors mainly from the USA and offers pastoral accompaniment in English in Wittenberg. The work began in 1999.