The gift of one another

LUCCWA church leaders and LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge at the summit in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: LWF/Felix Samari

Lutheran church leaders seek greater stability in West African region

(LWI) - Lutheran leaders in Central and West Africa have called for concerted efforts to overcome poverty and economic injustice in the region, urging continued awareness-raising to mirror support provided by The Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

During a church leadership summit of the Lutheran Communion in Central and Western Africa (LUCCWA) hosted by the Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL), they agreed to strategically integrate focus on sustainability, gender justice and youth participation in church and society into ongoing work.

At the 22-24 September meeting in the capital Monrovia, they also called for sustained prayers, actions of solidarity and advocacy for people suffering due to political insecurity, civil conflict or disasters in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. They pledged to support their respective churches to develop plans to enhance stability in the LWF sub-region.

Discussing the program on “Confronting Poverty and Economic Injustice in Africa,” which the LWF launched in 2012, the delegates said the initiative had strengthened their diaconal work by putting greater focus on gender justice, youth inclusiveness and empowering different actors within the church and in society.

LCL Bishop Dr D. Jensen Seyenkulo, LUCCWA president, thanked member churches in the sub-region for continuing support and commitment to the work of the communion. Welcoming LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge, visiting the country for the first time and taking part in the summit, Seyenkulo said, “God has given us many gifts and the second most important gift after our Lord Jesus Christ is the gift of one another.”

The bishop expressed his joy over the election of Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa (Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria) as LWF President at the Assembly in May, and also for the Vice-President for Africa, Rev. Dr Jeannette Ada Maina (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon).

The LCL hosted a eucharistic service to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation at St Peter’s Lutheran Church, which preceded the national ecumenical service at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.

In his address to the LUCCWA summit on “The Church We Are Called to Be,” Junge noted the church is not an end in itself and that its purpose is God’s holistic mission. “The church is among the people, as Jesus was,” he said. “The church affirms life for everyone, as Jesus did.”

He recalled that the LWF Twelfth Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia, focused on gender justice, theological education, ecology and climate change, revival of churches and inclusion of youth as critical issues. These are the kinds of issues Lutheran churches must work on in order to build a communion that will sustain the LWF member churches, Junge added.

LUCCWA comprises 10 LWF member churches in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.


By Felix Samari, coordinator, African Lutheran Information and Communication Network (ALCINET) and LWF Communications.