The Churches of the Reform Meet in Assembly

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© LWF Eleventh Assembly
Munib Younan, Lutheran bishop of Jerusalem

On 20–27 July 2010 the XIth general assembly of the World Lutheran Federation (WLF) was held in Stuttgart (Germany). The delegates elected bishop Munib Younan of Jerusalem as the new president of the 70 million Lutherans in the world. On 18–27 June 2010 at Grand Rapids, Michigan, was created the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).



Palestinian bishop president of world Lutherans

© Erick Coll/UGC
© Erick Coll/UGC
Grand Rapids (Michigan)

On 20–27 July 2010 the XIth general assembly of the World Lutheran Federation (WLF) was held in Stuttgart (Germany). The delegates elected bishop Munib Younan of Jerusalem, of the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Jordania and in the Holy Land, as the new president of the 70 million Lutherans in the world.

Invited fraternally to address the delegates on the assembly’s theme, “Give us this day our daily bread”, the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, stated that when we confess before God our need of bread we in reality affirm our humanity, which is vulnerable and not self-sufficient, we admit that we are dependent on relations and without any security. “The bread of truth is also the bread of honesty about ourselves. A Church that grows authentically in Christ will be ready to listen to his judgment on this subject and on others with patience and gratitude.”

At the close of a long process of purification of memory and of reconciliation, during this assembly the WLF officially asked pardon of God and of Mennonite communities for the severe persecution inflicted by Lutherans against Anabaptists in the period of the Reform.

 
New communion of Reformed Churches 

On 18–27 June 2010 at Grand Rapids, Michigan, was created the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC). This organization groups in a federation the principal Reformed Churches at an international level, for a total of 80 million faithful. The WCRC arises from the fusion of two branches of Reformed Churches: the World Reformed Alliance and the Reformed Ecumenical Council.

A young Swiss theologian, friend of our community, who participated in an official capacity in the Grand Rapids assembly, told us: “It was a powerful moment, which allowed many of us to experience for the first time the universal dimension of the Church, a real revelation for many Reformed, whose experience of faith too often is limited to the restricted scene of the local parish.”

The strong ecclesiological identity of the WCRC, as asserted by the name of Communion, and a more solid theological base than that of preceding organizations will permit this body to take a more active part in the ecumenical dialogue on the world level, in particular with the Lutheran tradition.