8 SEP 2023
‘One Body, One Spirit, One Hope’ is the theme as participants convene for 13 to 19 September meeting
More than a thousand participants from around the global Lutheran communion will be gathering in Krakow, Poland, over the coming week for the opening of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Thirteenth Assembly. The 13 to 19 September meeting is the LWF’s highest decision-making body which will elect a new president and Council, setting directions for the global communion over the coming years.
The theme of the Assembly is ‘One Body, One Spirit, One Hope’, emphasizing the importance of promoting unity in churches and societies in order to heal divisions and overcome growing polarization. Speakers will reflect on some of the major challenges of our times, asking how churches can be messengers of hope and credible witnesses to the gospel in their diverse regional contexts.
LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Anne Burghardt said: “The Assembly in Krakow brings together churches from 99 countries throughout the world. More than one thousand participants, from diverse local contexts, come together and experience what it means to be ‘one in Christ.’ We will reflect and pray, share common concerns, with the goal of discerning where the Spirit is leading our churches and how we are called to be messengers of hope to the world.”
Delegates have already begun arriving in Poland for three Pre-Assembly gatherings of men, women and youth to define priorities and equip participants who have not taken part in previous Assemblies. These are being held between 8 and 11 September in Krakow and in the cities of Wroclaw and Wisla.
The Assembly is hosted by the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland (ECACP), led by Presiding Bishop Jerzy Samiec. It will mark only the second time that such a meeting has been held in the LWF’s Central Eastern European region, following the 1984 Budapest Assembly. A minority church in a predominantly Catholic country, the ECACP is a founding member of the LWF and numbers around 61.000 members. Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Poland’s eastern neighbor, Ukraine, it has been cooperating with many other churches and organizations in responding to the needs of hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing from the conflict.