From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Ukrainian Church Marks Tenth Anniversary

From "Frank Imhoff" <>
Date Fri, 27 Dec 2002 08:55:56 -0600

Ukrainian Church Marks Tenth Anniversary, Strives for Financial
The Church Should be a Welcoming Place for All People

ODESSA, Ukraine/GENEVA, 20 December 2002 (LWI) - The synod of the
German Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Ukraine (DELKU) recently
gave a positive evaluation of the church's first ten years of

At its ninth meeting from October 15-18 in the recently dedicated
St. Paul's Church House in Odessa, delegates from 32 registered
and nine non-registered congregations noted that DELKU had evolved
from an association of four congregations into a community of more
than 40 Evangelical Lutheran congregations. They also emphasized
that in the current phase of the church's development, it was
necessary to strive for "financial and structural autonomy."

The synod members stressed that the church should be a place that
welcomes all people. The governing body called for the
strengthening of work among congregation members, and urged for
the training of more church workers. Delegates expressed their
wish for a financially autonomous church with transparent
financial management. "We must get people used to no longer
standing there with outstretched hands. The time has come to
strive for financial autonomy," said Rev. Peter Sachi, from the
St. Katharine's congregation in Kiev.

DELKU synod president, Vladimir Lesnoy, stressed that the time had
come for the church to stand on "its own feet" and be less
dependent on support from partners abroad. He noted that for the
congregations to acieve structural and financial autonomy, they
needed to work more effectively with the local people without
creating closed communities of German tradition. "For people of
different nationalities to feel at home in our church, we must use
more Ukrainian and Russian and do so more actively; otherwise we
shall remain an ethnic church which has no future because of
emigration," Lesnoy said. It was also important to continue the
cooperation within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and
Other States (ELCROS) of which DELKU is a member. "We believe that
ELCROS must develop into a church federation that focuses on
cooperation in the fields of training and education, information
exchange and representation in European and international

Bishop Edmund Ratz emphasized in his report to the synod how
regrettable it was "that we are not yet able to celebrate the
Lord's Supper together with all the Christians of the other
churches. We are grateful that conversations are going on between
the various Christian churches in order to achieve eucharistic
fellowship." Among the most important tasks for the future, Bishop
Ratz listed the returning of historical, Lutheran church buildings
to the congregations and greater promotion of camps for children
and young people.

The DELKU with headquarters in Odessa, is an autonomous regional
church of ELCROS. The ELCROS has 250,000 members. It joined the
Lutheran World Federation in 1989.

(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the
Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund (Sweden), the LWF now
has 136 member churches in 76 countries representing over 61.7
million of the 65.4 million Lutherans worldwide. The LWF acts on
behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as
ecumenical relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human
rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and
development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva,

[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is LWF's information
service.Unless specifically noted, material presented does not
represent positions or opinions of the LWF or of its various
units. Where the dateline of an article contains the notation
(LWI), the material may be freely reproduced with acknowledgment.]

*	*	*
PO Box 2100, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
English Editor: Pauline Mumia
Tel: (41.22) 791.63.54
Fax: (41.22) 791.66.30

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home