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Brazilian church holds 61st convention

May 1, 2014 No Comment

IELBweb

Text updated May 7 to include information about the election.

BRAZIL – The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil (Igreja Evangelica Luterana do Brasil—IELB) held its 61st National Convention from May 1-4 in the city of Aracruz in the province of Espírito Santo. More than 1,100 people registered to take part in the convention, while more than 7,000 people were expected to attend the convention’s closing worship service—a celebration of the church’s 110th anniversary.

The convention began the morning of May 1 with an opening worship service. President Egon Kopereck of the IELB preached that day. A day later, President Kopereck was re-elected to another term. He first came to office in 2010.

On May 2, Brazilian pastor Rev. Mario R. Yude Fukue took the stage as the convention’s first lecturer, speaking on “The Challenge of Being a Confessional Church in Missions Today.” The day following, Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison (President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod) lectured on “The Challenge of Preserving Confessional Identity.”

A number of dignitaries were present for the event in addition to President Harrison. Partner churches from various countries sent representatives, including International Lutheran Council (ILC) Chairman Hans-Jörg Voigt (Bishop of Germany’s Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church), ILC Vice-Chairman Robert Bugbee (President of Lutheran Church–Canada), President Gijsbertus van Hattem (Belgium), Chairman Jon Ehlers (United Kingdom), Archbishop Christian Ekong (Nigeria), and President James Cerdeñola (Philippines).  Local Brazilian government officials, including Espírito Santo’s Governor, José Renato Casagrande, and Deputy Governor, Givaldo Vieira, also attended the convention’s closing service.

Among other business, the convention saw the signing of a cooperation protocol document between the IELB and St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Congregation (Congregacion Evangélica Luterana San Pablo) in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The Brazilian church, like Lutheran Church-Canada, was for many years a geographic district of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.  After it became self-governing in 1980, Brazilian church leaders were an encouragement to LCC to proceed with autonomy as well.  In recent years, the LCC ministerium has included a growing number of pastors who were born and educated in Brazil prior to their service in Canada.

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