From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Council Receives LWF Mission Document

From "Frank Imhoff" <>
Date Thu, 16 Sep 2004 09:11:05 -0500

Council Receives LWF Mission Document
Strengthening Theological Bases for the Understanding and Practice of Mission
in the 21st Century

LWF Council Meeting, Geneva, 1 - 7 September 2004


GENEVA, 14 September 2004 (LWI) - At its September 1-7 meeting near Geneva,
the Council of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) received the LWF mission
document "Mission in Context: Transformation, Reconciliation, Empowerment: An
LWF Contribution to the Understanding and Practice of Mission," with the
provision that reactions to the statement and additional input be
incorporated wherever possible. 

The Council also requested the Program Committee for Mission and Development
to designate three of its members to provide editorial approval prior to the
document's publication. 

Presenting the committee's report to the Council, Rev. Dr Walter Altmann,
chairperson of the Program Committee for Mission and Development said the LWF
had been working since 2000 on the revision of the document first developed
in 1988 under the title Together in God's Mission. A draft was presented to
the committee at its meeting in 2002, following which it was shared with
member churches, theological institutions, mission societies and related
agencies to solicit further input and comments. An advanced draft was shared
with participants in regional pre-assembly consultations and with
participants in the July 2003 LWF Tenth Assembly. At its last meeting in
September 2003, the ad hoc team that had prepared the document requested its
core group to re-work the statement, taking into consideration the various
comments received. 

Like that of its predecessor, the purpose of the paper received by this
year's Council is to stimulate self-analysis and reaffirmation of mission in
context among churches and related bodies. While building on the foundations
of the 1988 publication it offers a different hermeneutical approach, thus
strengthening the theological bases for the understanding and practice of
mission in the twenty-first century. The foundations in question are, among
others, the understanding of mission as participation in the Missio Dei, as
holistic - encompassing proclamation, service and advocacy for justice - and
as praxis pointing to the reality of God's reign in Christ. The document also
builds practice of mission on the missiological understanding that mission is
of the being of the church and belongs to the whole church.

Council Pays Tribute to DMD Director for "Outstanding Contribution"

The Council thanked and officially bid farewell to the director of the
Department of Mission and Development (DMD) Rev. Dr Piri Rasolandraibe, who
will be retiring in March next year. LWF President, Bishop Mark S. Hanson,
and General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko paid tribute to his "outstanding
contribution" to the LWF in the role of DMD Director. His professionalism and
patience were marks of his term in office, said Noko, noting that
Rasolandraibe had committed to completing important DMD projects even though
this had delayed his return to his home country Madagascar.

Acknowledging the Council's gratitude, Rasolondraibe expressed deep
appreciation for the support the councils had accorded him over the past
years. The Council also officially received Rasolondraibe's successor,
Norwegian theologian Rev. Dr Kjell Nordstokke, who is expected to take up his
new post in April next year. (507 words)

*	*	*

Around 100 church representatives including the 49-member Council attended
this year's meeting at Chavannes-de-Bogis near Geneva. In addition there were
70 participants consisting of invited guests, LWF staff persons,
interpreters, stewards and journalists. The Council is the LWF's governing
body between Assemblies, normally held every six years. The current Council
was elected at the July 2003 Tenth Assembly in Winnipeg, Canada, where it
held its first meeting. The Council comprises the President, the Treasurer
and ordained as well as lay persons drawn from the LWF member churches. The
LWF currently has 138 member churches in 77 countries all over the world,
with a membership of nearly 65 million people.

(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran
tradition. It was founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden. The LWF acts on behalf of
its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and
inter-faith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights,
communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work. Its
secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.)

[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the 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

*	*	*

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