LWI News in Brief No. 07/2006
+ LWF Sunday 2006: Reflections on "Living in Communion" + New LWF Publication: Spirits, Ancestors and Healing: A Global Challenge to the Church + Janos Ittzés Appointed Interim Presiding Bishop of Hungarian Church
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LWF Sunday 2006: Reflections on "Living in Communion"
The General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko, during this year's traditional LWF Sunday celebrations, invites the Lutheran communion to reflect on the theme "Living in Communion" and to focus on the federation's 60th anniversary.
In the annual LWF leaflet, prepared for use by congregations and other groups during worship services on or around Reformation Sunday, Noko invites readers to contemplate what it means to be a communion of churches. "By grace, God calls us into the communion of divine life," he writes. "This implies that we take courageous strides toward building and sustaining relationships among the members in the communion and throughout the world. There are no longer member churches on the one hand and the LWF on the other," he adds.
The LWF Council adopted the concept of an "LWF Sunday" or a "Lutheran Communion Sunday" in 1995. The LWF Department for Mission and Development provided material for this year's publication.
The four-page leaflet is free of charge and available in English, French, German and Spanish. A PDF version can be downloaded from the LWF Web site at: www.lutheranworld.org/Essentials/LWF-Sunday.html Printed copies can be ordered from the LWF Office for Communication Services, 150 route de Ferney, P.O. Box 2100, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland , Tel. +41/22 791 61 11, Fax +41/22-791 66 30, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (228 words)
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New LWF Publication: Spirits, Ancestors and Healing: A Global Challenge to the Church
Spirits, Ancestors and Healing: A Global Challenge to the Church is the title of a new publication of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) aimed at encouraging an open atmosphere for discussion and dialogue about spirits, ancestors and healing within the LWF member churches. Produced by the LWF Department for Theology and Studies (DTS) through its desk for Church and People of Other Faiths, this resource seeks to address such questions as: Why do increasing numbers of Christians seek support within spiritualistic groups and indigenous religions? What are the implications of this? What pastoral and theological questions does this pose?
To seek some answers to these questions, the LWF/DTS convened four regional seminars between 2004 and 2006 in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, which resulted in three previous books: Espiritualism/Espiritismo: Desafios para a Igreja na América Latina (LWF Studies 01/2004), Spiritualism: A Challenge to the Churches in Europe (LWF Studies 02/2004), and Ancestors, Spirits and Healing in Africa and Asia (LWF Studies 01/2005).
A final meeting discussed the results from the seminars, and suggested how these matters might be dealt with in churches. This new 56-page publication was developed through deliberations at a final January 2005 global consultation in Berlin, Germany, where outcomes of the regional meetings and their implications were discussed.
The booklet, edited by Rev. Dr Ingo Wulfhorst, DTS study secretary for Church and People of Other Faiths (2001-2006), can be ordered from the LWF Department for Theology and Studies, 150 route de Ferney, P.O. Box 2100, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, Tel. +41/22-791 61 11, Fax +41/22-791 66 30, E-mail Liesch@lutheranworld.org. It is free of charge with postage and packaging charged for bulk orders. (289 words)
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Janos Ittzés Appointed Interim Presiding Bishop of Hungarian Church
Janos Ittzés, bishop of the West District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary has been named interim presiding bishop of the Hungarian Lutheran church. Ittzés, 62, succeeds Bishop Dr Imre Szebik who retired in March 2006. The church's synod will make a final decision on the position in November this year.
Ittzés pursued theological studies at the Evangelical Lutheran Theologica l Academy in Budapest from 1962 to 1967, leading to his ordination in 1970. After serving as a vicar in Koszeg from 1970 until 1971, he was a congregation pastor in Takacsi from 1971 to 1981, and in Koszeg from 1981 to 2000. He has been bishop of the church's West District since 2000.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary, an LWF member since 1947, has some 305,000 members. (138 words)
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(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF currently has 140 member churches in 78 countries all over the world, with a total membership of 66.2 million. 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 acknowledgment.]
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