A communion that engages the world

Delegates at the LUCA meeting include the LWF Council members and advisor from the Africa region and the leaders of the three sub-regions. Accra, Ghana, May 2018. Photo: LWF/Felix Samari

Key messages emerge from the Lutheran Council in Africa

(LWI) - The Lutheran Council in Africa (LUCA) has made a series of resolutions following its recent meeting in Accra, held with the theme “Though many, yet one body” (I Cor. 12:12).

LWF Africa Vice President Rev. Dr Jeanette Ada Maina called on LUCA to focus on a united vision. “As LWF member churches in Africa, we are called to have one vision and one major goal, which can be implemented into specific activities in our own contexts.”

The churches in Africa should seek ways to build fellowship, she said. “Our fellowship strengthens not only our life together as a region but also the entire communion.”

Five focus areas

The meeting highlighted five significant areas of attention: unity and growth in membership, theological education and formation, gender justice, youth participation and the role of the church in mission.

On unity, the LUCA members were encouraged to be united, support one another and use their gifts to build each other up. Churches are called to commit themselves to what holds them together: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).

LUCA acknowledged the tremendous growth in membership on the continent but also the responsibilities that came with it. “We identified some of these challenges as our demonstration of unity, the development of leaders who are well-grounded in their theology and being inclusive so that youth and women are involved and participate at all levels,” the message of the meeting stated.

It said that on theological education and ministerial formation, the training of ministers matters because these leaders take over the leadership of churches. However ministerial formation faces many challenges. “The region must approach this important aspect of ministry with creativity if it is to make the necessary impact.”

Gender justice, youth participation and the role of church in mission were identified as areas to to be prioritised in order to allow young people and women the chance to take part in church life fully.

LUCA mandated its steering committee on confronting poverty and economic injustice in Africa to scale up its work but recognized that fund-raising was challenging hence work on resource mobilization.

No church stands alone

LWF President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa said no church stood alone. “This meeting provides opportunity to reflect on how the insights from the Assembly inspire our common journey as the Lutheran communion in Africa but also within the global communion.

“In all these, it is important to keep in mind our commitment as LWF not to be a communion that retreats and is busy only with itself but that a communion that wants to engage the world.”

LUCA consists of the LWF Council members and advisor from the Africa region and the leaders of the three sub-regions. The LWF has 31 member churches in 27 countries in Africa. This was the first full meeting of LUCA since the new LWF Council was elected at the Twelfth Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia.