LWF congratulates Church of Norway’s new leader

30 Jan 2020
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. Photo:LWF/Albin Hillert

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. Photo:LWF/Albin Hillert

Olav Fykse Tveit appointed as Presiding Bishop of his native country

(LWI) - The General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Rev. Dr Martin Junge, has sent a letter to congratulate the new head of the Church of Norway, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

Tveit, the outgoing General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), was appointed on Thursday as the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Norway. He takes over from Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien who has held the position since March 2011.

Gospel witness in challenging context

In the message, Junge emphasizes the vital role that the Church of Norway plays in “enriching the public discourse around key issues of climate justice, migration and gender equality,” while “witnessing to the gospel of Jesus Christ in Norwegian society.” As a founding member of the LWF, it offers “an important example to other churches in different parts of the globe as we strive, within the global Lutheran family, to strengthen communion and share the gifts that God has given to each one of us,” Junge adds.

The LWF leader thanks Tveit for his leadership within the global ecumenical movement, saying: “We are convinced that your commitment to unity, justice, peace and reconciliation will inspire you as you seek to guide the church and enable it to continue speaking and witnessing to gospel of Jesus Christ values in a changing, and often challenging socio-political context.”

Spiritual and practical collaboration

Junge also notes the strong “spiritual and practical collaboration” between the LWF and the WCC. Both head offices are based in Geneva’s Ecumenical Center where staff gather regularly for worship in the spacious chapel or meet in the shared dining area.

Tveit steps down from his post as WCC General Secretary at the end of March 2020 after serving two terms of office. Before that, he headed the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations and worked closely with a number of interfaith organizations in his native country.