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ILC welcomes Nicaraguans into membership; LCC reelected to Executive Council

October 7, 2015 No Comment
LCC President Bugbee (right) congratulates ILSN President Donaire after the Nicaraguan church was welcomed into membership in the ILC.

LCC President Bugbee (right) congratulates ILSN President Donaire after the Nicaraguan church was welcomed into membership in the ILC.

ARGENTINA – From September 24-27, Lutheran leaders from across the globe gathered in Buenos Aires for the International Lutheran Council’s (ILC) 25th (10th) World Conference, meeting under the theme “Bringing the Reformation to the World.”

A highlight of the event was the welcome of three new member churches, among them Lutheran Church–Canada’s daughter church in Nicaragua. The ILC welcomed the Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua (ILSN – Lutheran Church Synod of Nicaragua) into membership on September 25, along with Russia’s Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in Norway. The ILSN was born through LCC mission efforts which began in the Central American country in 1997. ILSN President Marvin Donaire was on hand for the vote and welcomed it with joy, receiving congratulations from both ILC Chairman Hans Jörg Voigt and LCC’s own President Robert Bugbee, who currently serves as Vice Chairman of the ILC.

The International Lutheran Council’s newly elected Executive Council. (Left to right: IELP President Norberto M. Gerke, LCC’s President Robert Bugbee, SELK Bishop Hans-Jörg Voigt, ILC Executive Secretary Al Collver, ILC Secretary, ELKB President Gijsbertus van Hattem, ELCE Chairman Jon Ehlers. Missing are LCN Archbishop Christian Ekong and LCP President Antonio del Rio Reyes who were unable to be present due to visa difficulties).

The ILC’s newly elected Executive Council. (Left to right: IELP President Gerke, LCC President Bugbee, SELK Bishop Voigt, ILC Executive Secretary Al Collver, ELKB President van Hattem, ELCE Chairman Ehlers. Missing are LCN Archbishop Ekong and LCP President del Rio Reyes who were unable to attend due to visa difficulties).

The ILC also tended to the elections of its Executive Council during the World Conference. Bishop Voigt of Germany’s Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church was reelected Chairman of the ILC. He was first elected ILC Chairman at the 2012 World Conference held in Niagara Falls, Ontario in Canada and previously served as Interim Chairman beginning in 2010. President Gijsbertus van Hattem of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belgium was reelected as Secretary for the Executive Council.

The remainder of the ILC’s Executive Committee is composed of five World Area Representatives. According to the ILC’s constitution, members elect church bodies rather than individuals to fill these roles. Lutheran Church–Canada (served by President Bugbee) was reelected as North America’s representative. Other World Representatives elected for this triennium include the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay (served by President Norberto M. Gerke) for Latin America; the Lutheran Church of Nigeria (served by Archbishop Christian Ekong) for Africa; The Lutheran Church of the Philippines (served by President Antonio del Rio Reyes) for Asia; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in England (served by Chairman Jon Ehlers) for Europe

The ILC’s Vice-Chairman is not elected by the World Conference. Instead, the Executive Council will elect a Vice-Chairman from among the World Area Representatives at their first council meeting.

Among other work, delegates took part in long-term strategic planning for the International Lutheran Council, discussed ongoing ecumenical engagement with Roman Catholics through the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, heard a keynote address and feature essays on the continuing relevance of the Augsburg Confession, and joined local Argentines for worship and fellowship.

Delegates to the ILC's 2015 World Conference.

Delegates to the ILC’s 2015 World Conference.

The World Conference brought together 22 of the ILC’s member churches, three new member churches, and eight guest churches from every continent—including guests from the two largest Lutheran church bodies in the world: the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (7.2 million members) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (6.5 million members).

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