Partnership conference strengthens international and ecumenical relations
About 100 participants of different generations from 16 countries participated in the partnership conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony (EVLKS) held in Meißen from 15 to 21 June under the theme “... to give you a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11).
“Our idea is to have such a partnership meeting in the year of the Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) to offer an experience of the connectedness across the LWF communion,” said Rev. Friedemann Oehme, secretary for ecumenical relations of the EVLKS. “At the first meeting of this kind in 2016, we could also participate in the Wittenberg Pilgrimage during the LWF Council meeting.”
Our idea is to have such a partnership meeting in the year of the LWF Assembly to offer an experience of the connectedness across the LWF communion.
– Rev. Friedemann Oehme, Secretary for Ecumenical Relations, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony
“Our church, its regions and congregations, has partnership relations with 22 countries,” Oehme said. “For the 2023 partnership meeting, we invited people from the grassroots level – two international people for every participant from EVLKS.” Participants came from Papua New Guinea, India, Tanzania, South Africa, Argentina, Paraguay, Colombia, Cuba, the USA, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Germany.
For the participants, the diversity of the LWF communion became evident and encouraged all to continue and further develop the partnership work between their churches. The EVLKS department for ecumenical relations, the One World Office, and the Leipziger Missionswerk jointly hosted the event prepared by staff and volunteers.
Among the speakers at the meeting were LWF Council member Bettina Westfeld, who is also synod president of the EVLKS, and the LWF’s Regional Secretary for Europe, Rev. Dr. Ireneusz Lukas.