"We have been enriched and blessed"

Pröpstin Astrid Kleist greets participants after the service. Photo: LWF/ Albin Hillert

LWF Council joins local congregations for Sunday worship

(LWI) - On Sunday 1 July, LWF Council members joined local congregants for Sunday service at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Geneva.

“Thank you for inviting us, to share in songs, prayers, word, and sacrament. We have been enriched and blessed," said LWF President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa in a word of appreciation to the congregations for receiving the ecumenical guests.

The church, which is composed of two congregations, German- and English-speaking, opened its doors to LWF Council members, who participated in the services of both congregations today. A Malagasy Lutheran congregation also worships in the church.

“This congregation is an example of communion," said the LWF president, "people from around the world gathering, walking together, supporting each other, praying and trusting God’s mercy. We are grateful for the opportunity to worship here and wish you God’s blessings.”

The world represented

Rev. Mark Blessing, pastor of the German-speaking congregation said it was precious for the congregation to have the LWF council join for worship. "We had a slogan for the World Cup in Germany in 2014: 'Die Welt zu Gast Bei Freunden.' That is a good motto for today – to have the world, the 75 million Lutherans of the LWF, represented in our church."

Rev. Andy Willis, pastor of the English-speaking congregation, shared his sentiment: "Having the Council with us today helps us feel connected to the Lutheran churches throughout the world, to the many churches that some of our members come from, and to the important work the LWF is doing in the world."

Pröpstin Astrid Kleist, LWF vice-president for Central Western Europe, preached in the German language service, reflecting to the theme of the Council – Freely you have received, freely give:

"A gift is all that we are and have, our gifts, our special talents: we are entrusted to do God's work in God's world."

Pastor Andy Willis of the English speaking congregation gives the blessing at the end of the service. Photo: LWF/ Albin Hillert

The congregation and Council members were sent from the service with a prayer and blessing:

"Go in the power given to you:

simply, tender, with light feet.

Look for love.

May God's spirit guide you."

The 2018 LWF Council meeting takes place in Geneva from 27 June - 2 July. The theme of the Council is “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8, NIV). The LWF Council meets yearly and is the highest authority of the LWF between assemblies. It consists of the President, the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, and 48 members from LWF member churches in seven regions.