Norway’s Lutherans co-host LWF church leadership gathering

Participants at the 2014 LWF European church leadership gathering in Rome, hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy. Photo: Gerhard Frey-Reininghaus

“Liberated by God’s Grace” for Witness in Europe

(LWI) – What does “liberated by God’s grace” mean for Lutheran churches and societies in Europe? How do the region’s experiences and challenges provide new perspectives for church engagement in community life and in the care for creation?

These are some of the questions that The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member churches in Europe will discuss at this year’s Church Leadership Consultation, 11-14 May, in Trondheim, Norway. Church of Norway and the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway will jointly host the conference, focusing on the 2017 LWF Assembly theme, “Liberated by God’s Grace.”

“The theme of the Twelfth LWF assembly provides a solid framework to reflect on specific and relevant topics related to society and challenges for Christian witness in the region today,” said Rev. Dr Eva Sibylle Vogel-Mfato, LWF area secretary for Europe. 

The 80 participants in this year’s meeting include heads of churches and synods, ecumenical officers, theological educators, and women and youth coordinators from the 40 LWF member churches in Europe.

“The regional LWF gathering helps the wider church leadership to gain understanding about LWF’s present work and deepen motivation to take up opportunities for participating more broadly,” Vogel-Mfato added.

Plenary and group discussions at the conference will include advocacy for boat people on the Mediterranean Sea, accompanying the afflicted in the Ukraine crisis and other conflict areas, solidarity with people affected by calamities such as the earthquake in Nepal, and support to refugees across the world.

LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge will deliver greetings. His presentation will provide orientation for the 500th Reformation anniversary in 2017 and the Twelfth Assembly to be held the same year in Namibia, Windhoek.

Church of Norway Presiding Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien, who is LWF Vice-President for the Nordic region will preach at the opening eucharistic service at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.

The four-day gathering will also feature an intergenerational dialogue on climate justice, and a presentation on the contextual concerns of the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway.

See details of the event here.