Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lutherans urged to think of a new leader

Lutherans around the country have been urged to start thinking of a suitable replacement for former Head Bishop Reverend Doctor Wesley Kigasung, who passed away on May 14 this year.

Acting Head Bishop Rev Zau Rapa (pictured) made the call as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG (ELCPNG) celebrates Reformation Day today (Friday May 31).

He has been acting in the position, as spiritual leader of one of the largest mainstream churches in Papua New Guinea with more than 1.2 million followers, since the death of Rev Dr Kigasung

Reformation Day is an important liturgical festival that is celebrated by Lutherans and Christians of many Protestant denominations.

It commemorates Dr. Martin Luther's posting of his 'Ninety-five Theses' on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517.

This act triggered the movement in world history known as the Reformation.

While the historical date for the observance of Reformation is October 31st, most churches celebrate it on the last Sunday in October.

While it had profound and lasting impacts on the political, economic, social, literary, and artistic aspects of modern society, the Reformation was at its heart a religious movement.

"We must pray for a good Head Bishop to take over from where the late Dr Kigasung left us," Rev Rapa said in Lae.

"The next Synod will be held in January 2010 in Lae, Morobe province.

"I ask all followers of the Church not to make a political issue out of this.

"We need a good spiritual leader to guide the Church and we must pray to God for one.

"We must stop beating our chests and start humbling ourselves.

"Nominations will open at the Church Council in November this year and the nomination committee can start doing its job."

Rev Rapa urged Lutherans to think about the implications of the Reformation on their lives now and into the future.

"ELCPNG has a lot of work to do to strengthen the faith of its members," he said.

"The Lutheran Church is a reformed church and one of the major churches in the world.

"Lutherans all over the world are spreading the Word of God like Martin Luther.

"ELCPNG is one of the major churches in this country with more than 1.2 million followers, including active pastors and evangelists.

"The Lutheran Church does not stand on history alone as there are many changes taking place.

"We have the job of spreading the good news to all our followers as well as be careful of pitfalls along the way.

"The Lutheran Church not only strengthens the faith but is also a partner in development in areas such as education, health, Yangpela Didiman, development services, youth, women, Sunday School and others.

"The first classes will start in 2010 at the Lutheran University in Lae.

"We have our own beliefs; however, we must work together with other mainstream churches in the country under the PNG Council of Churches.

"I appeal to all followers to look at the presence and blessings of God in their lives."

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