Every year the Society holds
an Annual General Meeting. The meetings themselves are very short.
The usual reports are given and officers and committee members
are elected. The rest of the time is given over to consideration
of a special topic or theme.
The most recent one was on Saturday
9th March 2013
The Lumen Centre in Tavistock
Place, London, UK, is a delightful place in which to meet. There
is a restaurant, chapel and quiet space, secluded garden and some
light and airy meeting rooms. So, on arrival, everyone was greeted
by steaming cups of coffee and tea, and then invited into the
The Business Meeting
Our Moderators, Rupert Hoare and
Jana Jeruma-Grinberga, reported that 2012 had been a very successful
year, a highlight being the conference for theological students
and newly authorised ministers held at Mirfield, UK, in the September.
Treasurer, Erich Rust, reported that the finances were in good
order (a small loss on the general account but a healthy bursary
and conference fund had been formed) and then the National Co-Ordinators’
reports were received.
Then came the election of officers.
This was significant because both Co-Moderators and our Secretary,
Roy Long, were retiring.
Anglican President, Dr John Arnold, spoke warmly of Roy Long.
“We have benefited greatly from his diligence and attention
to detail,” he said. “I have particularly appreciated
his quiet championing of Lutheran orthodoxy.” Roy has been
forced to step aside because he has been given new responsibilities
in the Lutheran Church in Great Britain. Bishop Rupert gave him
a gift in appreciation of all he has contributed to our Society.
Arnold then turned his attention to Bishop Rupert Hoare. “The
Society has flourished under his 'just and gentle rule', and I
want to take this opportunity also to thank Gesine for her unseen
contribution to our common life and for being so generous in letting
us have so much of Rupert.” Rupert received a gift from
our Lutheran President, Bishop Jürgen Johannesdotter.
of Bishop Jana Jeruma-Grinberga Dr Arnold said, “Like Rupert
she has gone well beyond the line of duty in her engagement in
the executive work of the Society. She is a Mary as well as a
Martha. Her combining of lightness of touch with underlying deep
seriousness has been characteristic of her ministry and, dare
I say, of this Society at its best.” He then presented Jana
with her gift.
Erich Rust was re-elected Treasurer
and Canon Dick Lewis was voted in as our new Secretary. Everyone
was delighted that the Rev Dr Jaakko Rusama of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church of Finland (left) and the Rt Rev Michael Ipgrave,
Bishop of Woolwich, had agreed to be nominated as Co-Moderators
of the Society. Their election was unanimous.
The meeting was immediately followed by worship in the Lumen Centre’s
beautiful Chapel. Bishop Jana presided at Luther’s Deutsche
Messe (in English). The singing was enormously rich and enthusiastic
and there was a strong feeling of fellowship in the Holy Spirit
as people from so many different theological and liturgical traditions
received communion together.
In a memorable sermon, based on
Luke 18.9-14 and Hosea 5.15-6.6, Bishop Rupert began by warning
against false pride in ecumenical attitudes. “Only when
one’s spirit is broken, one’s heart is broken and
contrite, (or, better, crushed), only then can the Psalmist say,
‘Create in me a new heart, O God, and put a new and right
spirit within me.’ That’s our only starting point,
again and again and again.”
then turned to an exposition of the Hosea passage. “Until
human beings begin to say to one another, ‘Come let us return
to the Lord, let us seek the healing which God the creative healer
can bring to us all - we’ve made a mess of things, we’ve
each gone our own way, we’ve been pursuing our own ends,
caught up in our own little worlds and preoccupations, and the
result has been confusion, disarray, alienation’, until
human beings say that, in a sense destruction comes from God,
for God has made the world for unity and peace, cohesion and harmony,
and when we don’t go that way disintegration and death are
going to follow, as night follows day.” But there is hope,
Hosea assures us. “He will bring together again what has
been torn apart, separated out and therefore disintegrated. So,
Hosea can see that after two days God will revive us. On the third
day he will raise us up, and we will live literally before his
face or in his presence.”
The full text of the sermon is
Christian Community :
Being and Acting
an excellent lunch in the restaurant the main topic for the day
was addressed. In many parts of the world people are searching
for spiritual meaning but do not seem to be finding what they
are looking for in the traditional churches. All over the place
new communities are springing up. Why is this? And what can the
There were two presentations
Dr Petà Dunstan of Cambridge University, UK, gave an account
of Anglican religious communities. “Community,” she
said, “is a part of the normative Christian life in all
denominations, although it takes different forms from church to
church.” In England it was sociological, theological, and
political factors that allowed the re-emergence of Anglican communities
in the mid-19th century. The ‘Oxford Movement’ and
urban poverty after the Industrial Revolution provided the context,
coupled with the Romantic Movement, which looked back to the Middle
Ages, and which produced the Gothic Revival in architecture.
In what was quite a hostile environment
these 19th century communities could justify their existence by
providing service to the poor. They also provided a means by which
people could express a spirit of rebellion and take up counter-cultural
The crisis came when the state
began to take over their work. Many members of religious orders
felt they were becoming ‘redundant’. This did not
mean that they had failed, commented Dr Dunstan. In fact they
had succeeded because they pricked the social conscience of society.
There is now a need for communities
to engage with the world in new ways, acknowledging that Christendom
has ended, and that the secular world is largely indifferent to
the claims of Christianity. The key feature now is to avoid building
Dr Dunstan, looking to the future,
felt that although there will be smaller numbers in traditional
religious communities than in the past, we are witnessing a remarkable
growth in vocations to other forms of deeply committed religious
community life, including third orders, informal communities,
the development of the “single consecrated life”,
as well as the traditional celibate monastic life.
The full text of Dr Dunstan’s
presentation can be found here.
Dr Dominik Klenk, former Leader of the Offensive Junger Christen
in Germany, told us of his experience in a new informal Christian
community which is now based in Reichelsheim in Northern Bavaria.
The community was started by a
couple who were influenced by John Chrysostom, who had answered
the question ‘How do I become a Christian?’ by saying,
“Come and live with us for a year.” They invited young
people to live with them for a year. Dr Klenk described how the
pace of social life has been doubling every 20 years since 1968.
This has led to a feeling of discomfort, especially among young
people, and to a poverty of relationships. Communal life is one
answer to this dysfunctionality, reflecting as it does the Trinitarian
fellowship which is the essence of God.
Dr Klenk described the different
“circles of commitment” within the OJC. It started
by inviting young people for just one year. Now the pattern has
developed into full time (for life) membership, six years, one
year, or short periods, all depending on the individual’s
needs. From tiny beginnings in 1968 the community now has 20,000
Crucial to the Community is the
“Liturgy of Daily Life” which includes an hour of
silent prayer in the morning of each day, Daily Prayer at noon,
a weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and a monthly
Retreat Day. All this is described in a recent German publication
entitled “The Grammar of Community.”
The full text of Dr Klenk’s
presentation is available here.
meeting was divided into five groups. They were charged to discuss
all that they had heard, to respond to it from their own experience,
and to produce one question for the panel during our closing plenary.
The groups applied themselves
to their task and the building was filled with lively debate.
One asked ‘What can the wider church learn from the communities?’
Dominik Klenk reiterated the importance of the ‘Liturgy
of Daily Life’. Sunday worship only is not enough. Every
individual must find time for God in every part of every day.
Petà Dunstan emphasised that prayer and community service
must go together. Bishop Jurgen Johannesdotter, who grew up in
a house where there was no religion, stressed the need is to get
talking with young people.
Two’s question was ‘How do communities survive the
death of a charismatic leader?’ to which Petà wryly
commented that ‘Founders should retire at an opportune time
to empower the membership to carry on.’ Dominik said how
important it is for communities to create a charism that is not
connected to the founder or any individual leader. A member of
the Bruderhof Community at Nonnington, near Canterbury, UK, remarked
that ‘If Jesus is the centre of the community it will survive.
If its focus is the leader or the organisation itself it won’t.’
Three wanted to know ‘How does a community establish an
oversight that can be trusted?’ This is a tricky issue.
Petà said that Anglican religious communities have an Advisory
Council which recognises and advises them. They are not regulated
by Canon Law as is the case in the Roman Catholic Church. Bishop
Jürgen commented that many Lutheran communities in Germany
have good relationships with their bishops, but the big question
always is ‘What makes a legitimate community?’ In
Germany those that are recognised are listed in a booklet which
is published. Dominik felt that Roman Catholics have clear lines
of oversight. They relate to their bishop and to the parishes.
The Protestant churches are learning new ways and patterns of
oversight. Their communities are not institutionalised but are
Four (there were more of them than this!) wondered ‘What
is the scope for conflict and conflict resolution between those
who join communities for a short period of time and those who
are ‘lifers’ with regard to decision making that effects
the whole community?’ Dominik felt there were no fixed lines
on this. Those visiting for short periods are like people invited
to visit a family. They share its life but should not try to tell
the family how it ought to behave. In the OJC they ask associates
to spend three years finding out how the community works. After
that they are welcome to suggest changes. Petà said the
Rule of St Benedict suggests that differences between members
should be sorted out between the two of them, perhaps with the
help of the abbot. But other people should not be involved. It
is destructive of community when people take sides.
Group Five wanted to know ‘How quickly can a new person
change a community?’ Petà replied that a newcomer
is like a new baby in a family. It must be listened to and adapted
to. John Arnold commented that ‘the smaller the group the
bigger the impact a newcomer has on it’. Dominik spoke of
an unwritten rule which states ‘culture beats everything’!
Finally, Bishop Jürgen warned that good will is not enough
to keep communities together. There are circumstances in which
the proper thing is to allow a voluntary split in the hope that
the two communities that result will work at re-establishing good
relationships and come together again.
With that the Annual Meeting
ended. We look forward to the next one in March 2014.
The previous AGM
was on 10th March 2012
Around 40 members and friends gathered at Westcott House, an Anglican
Theological College in Jesus Lane, Cambridge UK, at the beginning
of a fascinating day which included the Society’s Annual
Meeting, but focused around the topic 'Cambridge, a Cradle of
the Reformation’. There was a buzz of conversation as coffee
was served, people greeting old friends and meeting new ones.
After a word of welcome from the
Rev Dr Will Lamb, Vice-Principal of the College, our Anglican
Moderator, Bishop Rupert Hoare, invited everyone to remember in
prayer Canon Guy Smith, former Treasurer and a wonderful servant
of the Society, who had died just a few days before the meeting.
Daniel Trocmé-Latter, seen here with Bishop Rupert, an
historian and musicologist from Homerton College, then gave a
brilliant introduction to the day, describing Martin Bucer’s
time in Cambridge from his arrival in England in 1549 until his
death in 1551. Bucer was Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge
and was influential with Archbishop Thomas Cranmer who is said
to have asked his advice on many points, in particular to do with
the Anglican Ordinal of 1550. The full text of Dr Trocmé-Latter’s
presentation is available here.
It was followed by a short but lively question and answer session.
the Rev Jochen Dallas (left), Senior of the German Lutheran congregations
in England, led us all to the Old Library at St John’s College.
There we were met by Dr Mark Nicholls (below), the chief librarian.
He gave a brief introduction to
the library and then showed us the library’s collection
of Martin Bucer material.
there we made our way to Great St Mary's Church for Mid-day Prayers
in the place where Martin Bucer was twice buried, the first time
after his death in 1551 and the second time in 1560. When Queen
Mary came to the throne she had Bucer tried posthumously and condemned
as a heretic. His casket was exhumed and his remains burned. Queen
Elizabeth the First rehabilitated him and a brass plaque in the
church marks the original location of his grave.
Lunch was in Westfield House of
Theological Studies, which belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran
Church of England and where students prepare for ministry. We
were made very welcome by the Preceptor, Dr Reg Quirk (below),
and enjoyed a meal prepared by members of his staff.
followed the Annual General Business Meeting. Our Moderators,
Bishops Rupert Hoare (Anglican) and Jana Jeruma-Grinberga (Lutheran)
were re-elected, and thanked for their enthusiasm and for all
they do for the Society. Bishop Jana was unable to be present
because she had been asked to address a meeting of Bishops in
Ireland. The Secretary, the Rev Dr Roy Long, and Treasurer, the
Rev Erich Rust, presented their reports, and we heard from our
Jochen Dallas, whose period of office as pastor of the local German-speaking
Lutheran Congregations is ending, was thanked by Dr Roy Long for
all that he has contributed to the work of the Society, and in
particular in making the arrangements for this day. He hoped that
Jochen would continue to be active in promoting the aims of the
Society in his new post in Germany.
During a plenary session the topic
‘The Reformation Today’ was addressed. Dr John
Arnold and Bishop Jurgen
Johannesdotter gave brief presentations, followed by contributions
from Fr Rob
Mackley (Little St Mary’s Church), Dr Joel Humann (Westfield
House), Fr Philip
Swingler (Roman Catholic Observer), Dr
Roy Long and the Rev Alex
Faludy. Click on their names to read them.
day ended with Lutheran Evening Prayer in The Resurrection Lutheran
Church in Westfield House, led by Dr Reg Quirk.
A full account of everything
that happened, and a summary of the presentations can be found
in the April 2012 edition of The Window.
report of the AGM in March 2011
Our Annual Meeting on 5th March
2011 was held at the St Ethelburga Centre for Peace and Reconciliation,
78 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AG, and was attended by more than
Opening the meeting, our Anglican
President, Dr John Arnold, welcomed everyone and gave a brief
history of St
Thanks were expressed to all the
Society's officers, and especially to Canon Guy Smith (Anglican)
who, after more years than he cares to remember, has resigned
Rupert Hoare thanked Guy for his enthusiasm, and for keeping the
committee on the financial 'straight and narrow', and
Mr Ron Bentley for assisting him so ably. They were both presented
with small gifts expressing everyone's appreciation of all they
The meeting elected the Rev Erich
Rust (Lutheran) as our new Treasurer.
Everyone was delighted that Bishops
Rupert Hoare (Anglican) and Jana Jeruma-Grinberga (Lutheran) were
both willing to stand as Co-Moderators, and they were elected
The Rev Roy Long (Lutheran) was
re-elected as Secretary.
This year we had to elect a new
Executive Committee. The following will join the Officers and
serve for the next three years: The Rev Tom Bruch (Lutheran),
The Rev Alex Faludy (Anglican), Mrs Helen Harding (Anglican),
The Rev Patrick Irwin (Anglican), Canon Dick Lewis (Anglican),
The Rev Eliza Zikmane (Lutheran). In this way we have equal numbers
of Anglicans and Lutherans as Trustees of our Society.
Next came the reports from our
National Coordinators and then Rupert Hoare told the meeting of
the plans for the Salisbury
later this year and the consultation planned for
Theological Students at Mirfield in Yorkshire, UK, in 2012.
Finally, our Membership Secretary,
Mrs Helen Harding, reported that there has been an increase in
membership in the UK, that the website is attracting members from
various parts of the world, that our German co-ordinators are
working hard to gain more members there (and will have another
recruiting drive at the Dresden Kirchentag later this year). However,
things in the USA are not too healthy and their National Coordinator,Ms
Laura Lincoln, had asked that the new committee address a number
of issues she had raised.
The meeting began and ended with
Lutheran President, Bishop Jürgen Johannesdotter, then took
the chair and introduced the topic for the day:
Facing the Christians in Jerusalem and the Holy Land'
Bishop Jürgen began by welcoming
Mr Yusef Daher, Executive Secretary of the World Council of Churches
Inter-Church Centre in Jerusalem. He then expressed disappointment
that Bishop Suheil Dawani, the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, was
after all unable to address us. (We later learned that his Jerusalem
residency status had been revoked by the Israeli authorities and
that he was having to fight his case in the courts.) However,
Bishop Jürgen was delighted that Bishop Suheil had sent as
his representative Canon Samuel Fanous, a priest from Ramle, not
far from Tel Aviv in Israel. Our new Patron, Bishop Munib Younan,
Lutheran Bishop of Jordan and the Holy Land, had already told
us that he was unable to attend. His duties as President of the
Lutheran World Federation had taken him to Malaysia. But, said
Bishop Jürgen, a way had nevertheless been found for the
meeting to hear some authentic Lutheran voices from the Holy Land.
Canon Dick Lewis had been in Bethlehem
the weekend before and had interviewed three members of the Lutheran
Christmas Church there. The recording of their thoughts on their
experience as Christians in the West Bank was played, and provided
the backdrop to the presentations by Canon Fanous and Mr Daher
Canon Fanous spoke from the point
of view of an Arab Christian who is an Israeli citizen working
in a Palestinian community not far from Jaffa. Palestinian Arab
citizens in Israel, he said, are part of the Israeli political
system but have their own language and culture. He described how
events in the West Bank and Gaza can make life difficult for Israeli
Arabs. Though they speak fluent Hebrew they use their Arabic language
amongst themselves and this makes them easily identifiable. So
when there have been flare-ups along the borders their Jewish
neighbours sometimes react. But despite discrimination most Israeli
Arabs wish to remain Israeli and are fighting for equal rights
with Jews. As a minority within the Arab minority in Israel, Arab
Christians witness to love, peace and reconciliation to both Jews
and Muslims and Bishop Suheil has established a mechanism whereby
young Jews, Christians and Muslims are drawn together. Within
that Christian minority Anglicans represent only a small minority,
said Canon Fanous, and there are no Lutheran congregations at
all in Israel. He appealed to everyone to be even handed in their
attitude and approach to to situation in the Holy Land. 'To be
one sided means hurting the others,' he said, 'and Christians
are called to be healers.' Throughout his presentation Canon Fanous
quoted many personal stories and experiences. Something of the
flavour of what he said will be found in the May edition of The
Window. A summary of his presentation can be found here.
Mr Daher gave a presentation on Churches and Christians in the
Holy Land. He reminded the meeting that Israel/Palestine has a
long history of occupation, and described the variety of church
families that have taken root there. Today only around 2% of the
population, both of Israel and Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem,
is Christian, while anything up to 500,000 Palestinian Christians
are scattered across the world. The problem of dwindling numbers
is of real concern and Mr Daher outlined some of the underlying
reasons for emigration, especially among the young. He described
some of the many initiatives, ecumenical, social and political,
being taken by the Churches and appealed for support for the Christians
in the Holy Land from Christian communities around the world.
This support could come, he suggested, through prayer, pilgrimage,
visits, exchanges, ethical tourism, and by responding to the Kairos
Palestine document of 2009. He illustrated his talk with a PowerPoint
presentation which you can see here.
After lunch the meeting resumed
with a presentation on the
The Kairos Palestine
Document of 2009, 'A Moment of Truth'.
First Mr Daher introduced the
Kairos Palestine Song, sung by Manal Abdo. You can watch and listen
by clicking here.
He then went on to tell the meeting
that the Kairos initiative began with a small group of Christians
writing to heads of churches; they established an office and began
the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme (EAPPI) and this impetus
eventually led to Kairos.
The Document was issued in 2009
by leaders of Churches and Church organisations in the Holy Land.
It calls for an end to the occupation of Palestine by Israel.
The call echoes a similar summons issued by South African churches
in the mid-1980s at the height of repression under the apartheid
‘The Israeli occupation
of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because
it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed
by God,’ the Document states, thus ‘distorting the
image of God in the Israeli who has become an occupier, just as
it distorts His image in the Palestinian living under occupation.’
‘Kairos’ means ‘the
time, or the moment’. 2009 was a Kairos moment for Palestine.
Everyone had lost hope of peace, said Mr Daher. ‘This was
our moment to say what, from our point of view, was going on.’
The document has three significant
The first, a message of Faith,
is addressed not to the outside world but to Palestinian Christians.
‘Our message is that we believe in a God who is good. God
would not want killing or taking of land,’ he said. ‘We
believe the Old Testament and the New Testament to be one book.
We don’t look at the Old Testament alone. It is one story
from beginning to end. We believe in Jesus Christ. When Jesus
came to the Jews his message was inclusive. It did not stay in
Israel. We believe God’s message is inclusive – it
is for everyone.’
The second message is Hope. The
Kairos Palestine Document gave Palestinian Christians hope, he
told us. ‘It said Christians have been on this land for
2000 years, always a minority, always afraid, but God has blessed
Finally, a message of Love. This
was the key issue, Yusef asserted. The hardest commandment is
to love your enemy. ‘In Jericho church leaders reflected
on how to love our enemy,’ he told us. After much heartache
and soul searching they identified their enemy today as the State
of Israel (not the people, but the actions of the state). This
is controversial. Some people think they were wrong, but that
is what they decided.
Some critics have claimed that
the Document is anti-Semitic. But it is not. ‘We love our
Jewish neighbours,’ he told us, ‘but we don’t
love the evil they do. We resist them so as to free them from
their evil and restore their dignity as children of God.’
‘Jesus did not ask us to
love evil,’ Mr Daher reminded us. ‘He said the enemy
is evil. The Occupation is evil. We need to resist evil. But Jesus
also said: “Don’t resist evil with evil”.’
He went on to outline some of
the many non-violent ways of resisting the evil of the Jewish
State: living there, talking here, civil disobedience, a boycott
of Israeli settlement goods, divestment from companies supporting
the occupation, and sanctions. ‘This is controversial,’
he said. ‘But we mustn’t forget, this is the following
the example of South Africa and Martin Luther King.’
Mr Daher appealed to everyone
at the meeting to spread the word in their own churches and communities.
They should tell people what is really happening in Israel/ Palestine
and then spread the word of Faith, Hope and Love.
He ended with a reference to the
events unfolding in the Middle East. They show that the spectre
of the anti-Christian Muslim is generally a lie. What we have
witnessed on our TV screens is young Muslims and Christians praying
and protesting in the square in Cairo together. ‘We have
a long tradition of Muslim Christian co-existence,’ he reminded
Young Palestinians, he said, are
calling for the re-establishment of the Council of Palestine,
representing Palestinians in Israel the Occupied Territories and
Faith, Hope and Love are the key to finding a peaceful solution
in Israel/ Palestine he concluded, emphasising Jesus’s words:
‘Don’t resist evil with evil.'
Some lively discussion followed,
chaired by Bishop Jana, some of which will be reported in May
issue of The Window.
Then, after tea, the meeting ended
with a celebration of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion
Service. It was introduced
by Dr John Arnold, the celebrant was Bishop Rupert Hoare and Bishop
Jana Jeruma-Grinberga preached. The text of her sermon can be
The next Annual General Meeting
will be on Saturday 3rd March. So put the date in your diary now.
Details of time and venue will be published as soon as we have
The 2010 AGM
was held on Saturday 13th March
at Christus Kirche, the German Church in Montpelier Place in London's
The Business Meeting was chaired
by Bishop Rupert Hoare. His Lutheran Co-Moderator, Bishop Jana
Jeruma-Grinberga, was unable to attend the meeting and sent sincere
apologies to the members, who had gathered from all over Europe
and the UK.
Co-Moderators reported that the Society had enjoyed a good year.
The Conference in Turku, Finland, had been a great success, and
appreciation was expressed to the Rev Dr Jaakko Rusama (right),
our National Co-Ordinator in Finland, and his team, whose hard
work had born such wonderful fruit. The Moderators reminded the
meeting of the next Conference, to take place in Salisbury, UK,
16th-20th September, 2011, and informed the meeting that a conference
for theological students from across the world was being planned
for 2012. Details of both will appear on the 'Conferences' page
as soon as they are available.
The Treasurer, Canon Guy Smith,
reported that the Society's finances are in good order. He gave
notice that he would like to relinquish the post next year. So
if you have any ideas who might take on the Treasurer's role please
contact the Moderators.
Moderators were both re-elected. The Executive Committee has one
more year of its three year stint to serve. But the Rev Siggi
Arnarson had resigned and so the Rev Elîza Zikmane of the
Latvian Church Abroad (left) was elected to serve for one year.
Written reports were received
from our National Co-Ordinators, who were thanked for their hard
work on behalf of the Society.
Two members of the Executive Committee
will be travelling to Tampa in the USA in April to support members
of the American Chapter of the Society (known in the USA as the
'International Lutheran-Episcopal Society') in advertising our
work to those attending the Annual National Workshop on Christian
Unity there. The Society will also have a stand at the Second
Ecumenical Kirchentag in Munich in May.
Following the meeting, members
turned to the topic for the day:
Anglican President, Dean John Arnold (pictured here) briefly reminded
the meeting of the steps that led to the Meissen Agreement. Full
Then the Co-Chairmen of the Meissen
Commission, the Rt Rev Jürgen Johanesdotter, former Bishop
of the Landeskirche of Schaumburg-Lippe (and also Lutheran President
of the Society) - full text here
- and the Rt
Rev Nick Baines, Bishop of Croydon (left) - summary here
- described some of the ways in which the agreement was being
implemented on both sides, and some of the successes, disappointments
and challenges that have been encountered along the way.
Full summaries of these three
presentations will be published in the April 2010 edition of 'The
After a splendid Mediterranean
lunch members were invited to share experiences with one another
and with a panel that included Bishops Baines and Johannesdotter,
the Rev Dr Leslie Nathaniel from the Council for Christian Unity
of the Church of England, and Rev John Yule, Vicar of Fen Drayton
in Cambridgeshire who, together with his wife, has been very active
in developing relations between the Diocese of Ely and the North
Elbian Lutheran Church in Germany. It is hoped that some of the
points raised in discussion will also appear in 'The Window'.
The closing worship was led by
the pastors of the German-speaking congregation, Anne-Kathrin
and Wolfgang Kruse.
The 2009 AGM
was held on Saturday 7th March
at The Augustana Centre, 30 Thanet Street, London WC1H 9QH. It
was the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Society.
During the business meeting The
Rev Tom Bruch stood down after many years of faithful service
as Lutheran Co-Moderator. The meeting expressed deep appreciation
for all that he has done. The Rt Rev Jana Jeruma-Grinberga, Bishop
of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain was elected as his successor.
Reports were received from the
Co-Moderators, the Treasurer and the National Co-ordinators. Members
were given an update on the preparations for the conference in
September, and details can be found on the 'Conferences' page.
The rest of the day focussed on
Anglican-Lutheran relations. The Rev Dr Charlotte Methuen, a member
of the Anglican Lutheran International Commission, set the scene,
describing the current state of Anglican-Lutheran relationships
around the world. To read a transcript of her talk click here.
Then Bishop Michael Westall, former
Bishop of the Anglican Southwest Tanganyika Diocese, spoke about
relationships between our two communions in Tanzania, and commented
on recent developments in the Anglican Communion from an African
perspective. To read his paper click here.
After lunch the Rev David Cornick
of the United Reformed Church and Fr Phillip Swingler, Roman Catholic,
responded to what they have heard during the morning session.
They were then joined by Dr Methuen and Bishop Westall, and the
meeting ended with open discussion and plenty of questions and
contributions from the floor. A summary of this plenary can be
The day concluded with Lutheran
Vespers led by Bishop Jana Jeruma-Grinberga. The preacher was
the Rev Tumaini Kallaghe, Pastor of the Swahili congregation at
St Anne's Church in London. The Furaha Choir led the singing in
both English and Swahili.
Members can find a full account
of the day's events in the April 2009 edition of 'The Window'.
The 2008 AGM
was on Saturday 8th March, 2008
at St Matthew's Church, Westminster
After a brief business meeting,
during which the new constitution was adopted, the topic for the
rest of the day was a celebration of the Icelandic priest-poet,
Hallgrimur Petursson (1614-1674). His 'Passion Hymns', telling
the story of the passion of Christ, have provided Icelanders with
spiritual support during the most difficult times in their national
and personal history. They are read, all fifty of them, on Icelandic
State Radio during the season of Lent. The largest church in Reykjavik,
Hallgrimskirkja, is named in his honour.
The Icelandic Ambassador in London,
His Excellency Mr Sverrir Gunnlaugsson, under whose patronage
this part of the event took place, welcomed the large audience.
Dr Einar Sigurbjornsson from the
University of Iceland described Hallgrimur's theology, his place
within the Lutheran tradition, and the spiritual importance of
the 'Passion Hymns'.
Dr Margret Eggertsdottir of the
Arni Magnusson Institute in Reykjavik spoke of his place within
the literary heritage both of Iceland and of Western Europe as
The Rev Berhardur Gudmundsson
of the National Church of Iceland described the place and significance
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland among all the other
Churches of the world.
All three papers can be found
on our 'Papers and Publications' page. Just click here.
The day ended with a celebration of the Lord's
Supper according to the Icelandic Rite.
The 2007 AGM
took place on Saturday 10th March
at the Finnish
Church, 33 Albion Street, Rotherhithe, London SE16 7HZ.
After reports from the officers
thanks were expressed to the Rt Rev Erik Vikström, Bishop
of Porvoo (Borga), Finland, who, after serving for 11 years,
had resigned as Co-President of the Society. In appreciation of
his enormous contribution he was made a Life Member of the Anglican
Lutheran Society, a distinction
he shares with Ronald Englund, a former Lutheran Co-Moderator.
The meeting was delighted to learn
that the Rt Rev Jürgen Johannesdotter, Bishop of Shaumburg-Lippe
in Germany, had been invited to succeed Bishop Erik, and his appointment
was received with acclamation.
The theme for the day was 'Touching
the Fringe', a consideration of some of the ways in which Anglican
and Lutheran congregations are trying to draw people on the edges
of the Church into a deeper relationship with Christ.
Bishop Erik in an excellent paper
reminded members that it is in the fringe areas, where life is
uncertain and risky, that the Holy Spirit seems to prefer
to work. Then, after lunch, the Rev Ian Mobsby, Priest Missioner
to the Moot Community and Associate Missioner to the Archbishops'
Expressions' team, described a number of ways in which Christian
congregations in England are engaging in mission by encouraging
new and different expressions of church life.
The day ended with a celebration
of the Finnish 'Thomas
Mass' at which members of the Society were joined by a group
of young people from Sweden
who had come to England with their Pastor, herself a member, to
find out about church life here.
In 2006, in Southwark Cathedral,
our meeting focused on the question, ‘Must ethical issues necessarily
be Church dividing?' The papers read by Kenneth
G. Appold of the Institute for Ecumenical Research, Strasbourg
and Jeremy Morris of Trinity Hall, Cambridge can be found
by clicking here .
In 2005, in the Swedish Church,
the life and achievements of Danish theologian, educationalist
and hymn writer Nicolai Grundtvig were introduced
and evaluated by Canon Donald Allchin and Professor Sid Bradley.
We also enjoyed singing a number of Grundtvig's hymns during our