Yesterday, May 21, 2014, was the first day of regional meetings of the International Lutheran Council (ILC) in Bleckmar, Germany. Rick Steenbock, Communication and Projects Coordinator for Eurasia, is on site and will be reporting on each day of the meetings. Here is his report concerning yesterday’s activities.
The European region of the International Lutheran Council (ILC) met May 21st, 2014. Representatives from Lutheran church bodies all across Europe met to discuss issues concerning church fellowship. The group led by Chairman Rev. John Ehlers, the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in England (ELCE), heard three presentations on church fellowship. Bishop Soramies of the Mission Diocese in Finland presented on their understanding of church fellowship. Bishop Voigt of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany (SELK) spoke on the topic of the SELK‘s relationship with the protestant church in Germany (EKD). Rev. Sikula of the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession presented on the topic of church fellowship and their relationship with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
Each highlighted their respective church body to give some background and then discussed the challenges that each has encountered when it comes to church relations and fellowship with other Lutheran and Christian organizations. Through discussion, worship and prayer, the group has drafted a resolution to present to the ILC worldwide. This statement encourages other members of the ILC to keep an open dialogue with Lutheran church bodies and groups that are not currently part of the ILC, with the hope that at least some of these church bodies and groups will be encouraged enough to join the ILC.