Unity in reconciled diversity
(LWI) - Unity underlines all parts of the Assembly theme, said The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary Rev. Dr Anne Burghardt in her introduction of the theme at the Pre-Assembly of the Americas in Bogotá, Colombia.
At the same time, „it cannot be emphasized strongly enough that unity does not mean uniformity,” added Burghardt. "When unity is confused with uniformity the neighbors are forced to give up their gifts to conform to the dominant group.“
“Since its Assembly in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, in 1977, the LWF has been committed to ‘unity as reconciled diversity.” This is a well-known principle in the ecumenical movement and a helpful principle for the LWF as a communion of churches “in understanding what unity should look like between churches who live and witness in different contexts,” Burghardt said.
In practice, “It does not mean being “indifferent to one another, but rather “accepting differences that don’t affect the core of our faith.”
Adding perspectives from the regional contexts were Rev. Marcos Jair Ebeling from the Evangelical Church of Lutheran Confession in Brazil, Rev. Danielle Dokman from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Suriname and Bishop Dr. Larry Kochendorfer from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada,