The Assembly is an invitation to reflect on contextual realities and theological heritage

26 Jul 2022

One Body, One Spirit, One Hope: Unfolding the call to unity in a fragmented world

Assembly reference group

The Assembly Reference Group met to prepare the study book for the Thirteenth Assembly. From left: Rev. Dr Jean Koulagna, Cameroon; Prof. Dr Claudia Jahnel, Germany; Rev. Szabolcs Nagy, Hungary; Rev. Dr Chad Rimmer, LWF; Rev. Dr Faith Lugazia, LWF; Rev. Dr Frank Zeeb, Institute for Ecumenical Research, Rev. Dr Nelavala G. Prasuna, India; Prof. Rev. Tore Johnson, Norway; Prof. Dr Dirk Lange, LWF; Rev. Danielle Dokman, Suriname; Prof. Dr Jerzy Sojka, Poland. Photo: LWF/S. Gallay

(LWI) – How can the theme of the upcoming Thirteenth Assembly – One Body, One Spirit, One Hope – best be explored in The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) communion of churches? The Assembly Thematic Content Reference Group (ARG) met in Geneva from 31 May to 2 June to proceed with this task.

The ARG includes theologians from the seven LWF regions. The meeting was also joined by staff members of the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France, and the Communion Office. During the meeting, they developed further the framework for the Assembly Study Guide and shared ideas on the methodology of the thematic plenaries during the Assembly.

“Our previous online discussions have shown that there are many references, questions and challenges to the Assembly theme that invite reflection,” said ARG member Prof. Dr Jerzy Sojka. “At our meeting in Geneva, we tried to shape the Study Guide so that it would be a useful tool and resource for the participants of the Assembly in their reflection on what the theme of the Assembly means in their current context. That is why we not only reached to the sources and resources of our theological thinking, but we tried to give space to resound the cries of the present that we face as a communion of Churches.  

“Our vision is to make the interaction with the different aspects of the Assembly theme a hermeneutical walk,” said Rev. Dr Faith Lugazia, Content Coordinator for the Assembly. “Participants are invited to discover how – as one body and sanctified by the Holy Spirit – we can use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to walk together in solidarity and hope despite the challenges faced by God’s creation.”

The Assembly theme – One Body, One Spirit, One Hope – is a reminder of the LWF’s call to unity in the one body of Christ in a fragmented world. The theme refers to Ephesians 4:4: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling.”

“We envisage the Assembly Study Guide to be published at the beginning of 2023 and hope it will contribute to a fruitful discussion throughout the LWF communion of churches,” Lugazia said.

By LWF/A. Weyermüller

LWF/A. Weyermüller