A 16-member Minneapolis Area Synod delegation has been invited to participate in Germany’s largest celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. As a companion synod of the Leipzig District of the Lutheran Church of Saxony, the Minneapolis Area Synod will be represented by Bishop Ann Svennungsen and this delegation May 24-June 1 in the heart of Lutherland.
“As we prepare for the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation this year, our synod has been given an extraordinary opportunity,” explains Bishop Svennungsen. “The Lutheran Church of Leipzig has invited us to bring a small cohort of young pastors as their guests for Germany’s premier celebration.”
“Our Lutheran theology is one of our greatest gifts to God’s church and world,” she adds. “I am thrilled with the possibility of bringing 16 gifted and faithful pastors to Germany to gain an even richer understanding of that theology and its origins.”
Hosts are expecting as many as 300,000 people to gather for worship and festivities in Wittenberg on May 28. Many regional Reformation celebrations will lead up to that historic day. Participants in this trip will engage in pastor-to-pastor conversations about a 21st Century Lutheran witness and will stay in people’s homes.
In addition to Bishop Svennungsen, the delegation includes Kristine Carlson, Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis; Meta Carlson, Zion Lutheran, Minneapolis; Babette Chatman, Redeemer Lutheran, Minneapolis; Kelly Chatman, Redeemer Lutheran, Minneapolis; Matt Fleming, St. Andrew Lutheran, Eden Prairie; Erik Haaland, Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis; Eric Hoffer, Prince of Peace Lutheran, Saint Louis Park; Amber Ingalsbe, St. Barnabas Lutheran, Plymouth; Jason Lukis, Cross of Hope Lutheran, Ramsey; Ingrid Rasmussen, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Minneapolis; Bill Russell, Augustana Lutheran, Minneapolis; Charlie Ruud, Normandale Lutheran, Edina; Sarah Timian, St. John Lutheran, Belle Plaine; CJ Valenti, Salem Lutheran, Dalbo; and Morris Wee, Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis.
“I believe this will be a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the young pastors participating in this celebration,” Svennungsen concludes. “Members of the ELCA will benefit for years to come through the lessons gained by these participants.”