A first ever Pre-Assembly of men stresses need for servant leadership and listening to the voice of the Spirit
(LWI) - Men from around the seven regions of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) met together in Krakow on 11 September for their first ever Pre-Assembly, focusing on ways of working more effectively together with women and young people to foster more just and inclusive societies.
Greeting delegates, gathered ahead of the 13 to 19 September Thirteenth Assembly, LWF President Archbishop Panti Filibus Musa described the unprecedented gathering as “a significant step in our shared journey as a communion of churches.” He said: “It is not always easy for us, as men, to talk about our feelings, our fears, our struggles, but by meeting together, we agree to make ourselves vulnerable to one another.”
LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Anne Burghardt also greeted the group, urging the men to reflect deeply on “what it means to be defined, not by social or cultural standards, not by gendered hierarchies and values, but by Christ’s love.” She added: “Let us, like the first Christians, strive [….] to be as one body united in Christ’s spirit and drawn by the hope that we can be blessing to those around us.”
Be open to surprises of the Spirit
During an opening worship service, preacher Rev. Roberto Trejo from the Mexican Lutheran Church spoke about the exercise of power in churches, families and communities. Since Roman times, he noted, men have used the strategy of “divide and conquer to weaken, defeat and dominate the enemy.” Most of us today, he said, “come from countries where political, social and economic games are rigged” to provoke the media and create confrontations with the goal of dividing and weakening societies.