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Will be a Powerful Experience of Being One Body in Christ"
Host Church Bishop Talks about Local Preparations
about hosting the LWF Tenth Assembly is building as members of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) become aware of its
potential impact on their lives. "Hosting the Tenth Assembly in
Winnipeg gives us the opportunity to see ourselves against the
background of worldwide Lutheranism," says the ELCIC National
Bishop Raymond Schultz. "This will help us to understand who we
are. With whom we belong is part of who we are as people in
sees worship during the event as a very positive way of lifting up
the Assembly theme, "For the Healing of the World." He
anticipates worship to be a powerful experience of being one body in
Christ. "We are going to be reading the same scriptures,
celebrating the same Eucharist, and praying the same prayers that
Lutherans all over the world share in common. In a world that is so
divided and fractured, this is very hopeful witness," he says.
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Schultz is enthusiastic about the diversity expected to be part of
both the Assembly and its worship. "This event enhances the
opportunity to experience music, stories, cultural habits, humor,
and an introduction to other languages. Even what people will wear
will be interesting."
often portrayed as a mosaic of people where multi-cultural
experience and expression is valued and encouraged.
multicultural dimension also presents some challenges for the ELCIC
in providing worship resources. Although English is the primary
language in the ELCIC, congregations worship in at least 14
different languages. "The Assembly is an opportunity to
identify some fresh resources for meeting this challenge,"
according to Schultz.
says that the Assembly is already providing significant
opportunities for many talented people in his church. "Some of
the best artists of our LWF churches are contributing to this
experience," he explains. "That means that the creative
talent in our church can also find expression."
Assembly provides a tremendous learning experience for ELCIC members,
says Schultz, who begins to cite a number of other benefits for the
church as the Assembly host.
personal note, he points out that he has been national bishop for
"a very short time (elected in July 2001) and I came to my
office with very limited international experience because, there had
been few opportunities for me to gain that experience. So for me,
and probably for a number of other church members, this is a kind of
describes international relationships as "complex and sometimes
hard to explain." Having a representative sample of the entire
international family present is a quick way to view these complex
issues in a single experience. "In one place at one time, we
are going to be able to develop relationships with a large number of
people who we donít normally have the opportunity to get to know."
Assembly, he expects to gain "global perspective on doing
theology. As I learn how people read and interpret the confessions
in their context, that helps to broaden my understanding of our
Schultz is also
enthusiastic about the impact that he expects the Assembly to have
on the ELCICís vision of its mission. "This will be a
tremendous call to mission for our church because it will globalize
our vision of who we, as Godís people, are called to be."
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