Friday, July 30, 2010

LWF Unity is in Christ

Unity in Christ, by Robin J. Steinke, LWF Council member and dean, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg

I just finished my first meeting on the new council for LWF. It is such a privilege to serve the church and the mission of Christ in this capacity. I wish that each member of the ELCA could experience the genuine love of Christ experienced here across the cultural, social, economic and denominational traditions. There are clear and longstanding differences on a whole range of theological and social issues. Yet the unity of the Lutheran World Federation, a communion of churches, bears steadfast witness that our unity comes as a gift in Christ. We need not be of the same mind on any of these issues as long as we together confess Christ. I give thanks for my brothers and sisters across the communion of the LWF that we stand together as a public sign of unity in Christ in the midst of difference.

One final note, I also wish that each member of the ELCA could witness the faithful, pastoral and wise leadership exercised by Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson as he so ably served as president of LWF and presided at this assembly. There was great appreciation expressed throughout the communion of churches at this assembly for his Christ centered, biblically rooted, and confessionally sound and pastorally sensitive witness in preaching, teaching and presiding. His leadership was a powerful witness which pointed to Christ as the Center of life, faith and ministry.

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