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Departure | Participants Comment

What was your Assembly experience? What will you take home with you from the Assembly?

© LWF/Ratna Leak

Ms Gwen Bryde, North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church

This was my first time at an Assembly. And, of course, I come from a big church compared to many others represented here. It is interesting to see people from all these churches and to see that all of them can have a voice here. It was good to see the whole democratic process in action and how it works.

It is very challenging to see how many ways there are of understanding what it means to be Lutheran. Our church at home thinks quite similarly, for example in the role of the Bible and how it is understood. Our theology is more common among us.

In the village group, I talked with people from Madagascar and Cameroon. I heard such very different ideas of what being Lutheran means. Also, when others talk about cross-migration and poverty, they are so different from at home. Here, some people come and go, but there are not such large migrations of people. Here it is not such an existential experience.

Back in my home church, we are at this point of really encouraging change. Not only must we encourage people to live a different life, but also encourage them. We need to help them believe that God is there, they can help.

In my context, we must encourage people, too—those who might feel overwhelmed. But they can be encouraged by the LWF work and participate in it.

© LWF/Ratna Leak

Rev. Workinesh Getachew, The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus

I think that I take from this Assembly the example of the LWF. The LWF is thinking for all Lutheran churches and is serving as a moral compass, especially with HIV and AIDS. The work is a very good program, and gives ideas for us at home.

Also, from the youth I am learning many things. Gender justice is very big. People must give the idea of equality. We are all equal in the image of God. Also, we all have the responsibility to use what God has given us.

We have many problems in our churches to include women enough. In our country, we have many Muslims. So, in this culture, many women are limited. In our churches, we deal with women who experience female circumcision, polygamous marriages, and HIV.

But in our own church, there have been many changes. As a result, this gives attention to women and encourages other churches to change.

© LWF/Timothy Melvyn

Rev. Sreekanth James, Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church

Germany is the cradle for Lutheran Christianity, and Stuttgart is the headquarters of Brot für die Welt [Bread for the World], which supplements the theme and makes it meaningful to hold the Assembly here. As a young delegate from India it was good watching world leaders giving purpose and direction for the LWF in the coming years.

I was impressed by the village groups that gave space to express the views of everyone.

I was moved by the Mennonite action, which to me had an effect at a global level. It in fact changed the whole atmosphere of the Assembly. I will take this experience back home as an example of peace and reconciliation.

© LWF/Ratna Leak

Rev. Yerrauguntla Jyothi, Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church

From this Assembly, I will take time management and discipline. And, I will take home how biblical texts relate to the good soil and clean water.

I will share with the churches how to mix with all the people who are landless. In all of this, the language barrier is there. So, you also have to communicate with eyes and body language. We sometimes are short of words.

Rev. Paul Hatani Kisting, Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia

My participation gave me a feeling of being connected with the world. This is my first LWF meeting. The Assembly opened my eyes to the injustices around the world. I realized that we are not the only ones who are oppressed. I can now relate myself with all the oppressed people around the world.

© LWF/Timothy Melvyn

Rev. Mogens Kjaer, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark

It was encouraging to hear big challenges such as food security, illegitimate debt, HIV & AIDS and climate change highlighted in the Assembly.

I take back home good memories of being together and enjoying different cultures and singing.



© LWF/Timothy Melvyn

Ms Lydia Lasco, The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria

This is the first time I am attending an LWF meeting. Meeting people from different countries and coming together as a communion is a great experience.

I am challenged by the theme and when I go home I will exchange the message with my people.



© LWF/Ratna Leak

Rev. Simeon Mocha, The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus

I am very much interested in this Assembly. The morning devotions gave us our daily bread, and we really need to work for climate change. I have much trouble to translate all this to my own language.

But I am preparing to announce at home that we have living for spiritual life and for physical life. I will call people first and bring greetings from the Assembly. And then I will share the teaching of what I have got from friends in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Africa in my church. It will be important for us to work in the area of climate change.

© LWF/Ratna Leak

Rev. Dr Craig Nessan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

I teach at a theological seminary, and so the main thing I will take back will be to students—most of whom will become pastors. And, I think the first thing is the theme, “Give Us Today Our Daily Bread.” We need to take up the continued need for food for all people and for all the things they need for survival.

I’ll also take the life-giving relationships we have with Lutheran Christians who share in the Lutheran heritage and who are cooperating for justice in our world. I think that I will also share some of the other themes—especially climate change, food and gender justice, and HIV and AIDS.

The last thing I will take back is the worship life and the gifts of song. These spiritual gifts were shared from Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe, North America—all these places.

© LWF/Timothy Melvyn

Bishop David Piso, Gutnius Lutheran Church – Papua New Guinea

The Stuttgart Assembly is my fifth LWF Assembly experience. We as a communion are making progress. The LWF has transformed from being an institution to becoming a communion.

The communion itself is bread – a gift granted to us by Christ. It brings people together to feed those who are in need.



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