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• Salvos at Lutheran Assembly

Commissioner Vibeke Krommenhoek was the only female guest who attended the recent assembly of the World Lutheran Federation which took place in Poland. She is pictured here with with Reverend Cesar Garcia (Credit: LWF/Marie Renaux).

Commissioner Vibeke Krommenhoek, European Ecumenical Officer, International Headquarters, attended the 13th assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Krakow, Poland, last month.

More than 1000 international delegates were part of the assembly.

The only female ecumenical guest from a list of 20 delegates invited to attend, Commissioner Krommenhoek explained, “The assembly meets every seven years to choose a new president and a new committee from among the delegates. Through daily worship, Bible studies, lectures, panel discussions and small group work, a strategy – including topics for consideration for the next seven years – is developed.” The program included a moving excursion to Auschwitz, where so many perished during World War Two, and concluded with fellowship with local Lutheran churches in the region.

Following the visit to Auschwitz, Martin Turski, a 97-year-old Jew and Holocaust survivor, spoke to the assembly. He urged delegates to combat hate speech and to turn fear of strangers into empathy for ‘the other’. Mr Turski showed how the past can be repeated if we listen to and accept the ideas of nationalism and hatred of the stranger whilst forgetting about compassion.

“Along with the other ecumenical guests, I was present with international delegates at many informal encounters. We came together in fellowship and worship on the final day, and I was able to hand out many business cards and copies of the booklet The Church Known as The Salvation Army,” Commissioner Krommenhoek said.

To conclude the assembly, an ecumenical panel from seven Christian world communions shared insights on the road to reconciliation. Topics chosen for the next seven years include climate justice, social justice and gender justice. The assembly affirmed the gift of unity in diversity and the call to serve the neighbour.


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