Partner church leader encourages interaction

During a two-day visit to Winnipeg July 8 and 9, Rev. Dr. Michael Semmler, president of Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) stressed the importance and special nature of the relationship the Australian church shares with Lutheran Church–Canada. He noted the similarities between the two churches and the geography of the countries in which they serve. “Canada’s population is in thin long line north of the US border while Australia’s is in a similar line but around the edges of our continent.” LCC is the only other Lutheran Church body with which LCA has a Memorandum of Understanding, signed in 1993, which provides for pulpit and altar fellowship.

Rev. Dr. Mike Semmler, president of the Lutheran Church of Australia speaks to LCC's youth gathering in Edmonton (Photo by Chris Bruer)

President Semmler was the first LCA pastor to serve in Canada through a pulpit exchange program. He served Mount Olive in Regina for six months in the mid-’90s while Pastor Irwin Pudrycki served Pastor Semmler’s parish in Australia.

The Australian president met with LCC President Robert Bugbee and executive staff noting the need for ongoing communication. “We have a lot to learn from each other,” he said, encouraging further interaction. Discussions in Winnipeg included communications and mission work in Southeast Asia. “There are many areas in which we share common interests and concerns,” observed President Bugbee. “I am looking forward to developing our relationship even further to the benefit of both our churches.”

President Semmler and his wife, Christine, are visiting major Lutheran events in North America and Europe. Earlier this week the president spoke to LCC’s National Youth Gathering, next week they travel to Houston, Texas to attend The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod’s convention and finally to Stuttgart, Germany in late July for the World Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation. LCA holds associate membership in both the International Lutheran Council and Lutheran World Federation.

Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: July 9, 2010
Posted In: International News, National News,

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