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Special convention for German Lutheran church

April 24, 2018 No Comment

The Rev. Hans-Jörg Voigt, Bishop of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany

STADTHAGEN, Germany – A special convention of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (SELK) convened Thursday, April 19 to elect a bishop upon the expiration of the current bishop’s term of office. Rev. Hans-Jörg Voigt was elected in 2005 to serve a twelve-year term.

To prepare for the 2018 convention, last year SELK’s national pastoral conference nominated Bishop Voigt and Pastor Markus Nietzke as candidates for the position. During the Thursday afternoon session, the two candidates responded to questions submitted by delegates prior to the gathering. Forty-seven voting delegates participated in the election. On the first ballot, Bishop Voigt received 30 votes and Pastor Nietzke 17. The convention chairman, Dr. Frank Keidel, declared Voigt elected to continue as the chief pastor of the SELK. His new term of office is not time-limited.

The convention continued Friday by forming four working groups. While one group worked on drafting revised procedures and rules for the Synod of the Church, three others discussed individual aspects of a new hymnal for the SELK, including the hymn and prayer sections as well as the liturgical readings.

On Saturday, the convention voted to accept the third draft of the new hymnal and adopted revised procedures for future conventions.

SELK is a partner church of Lutheran Church-Canada. Bishop Voigt also serves as chairman of the 38-member International Lutheran Council.

(From SELK news service with translation assistance from Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee, Windsor, Ont.)

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