The influx of LCA members to Sydney this week has doubled the number of Lutherans who regularly worship in the New South Wales capital.
In his greeting tonight to the 500+ delegates, staff, volunteers and visitors gathered for the 19th General Convention of Synod, NSW Bishop James Haak said, ‘On any given Sunday, there are likely to be under 500 people attending worship in Lutheran congregations throughout the Sydney area. Just 0.2% of the population in Sydney is Lutheran.’
Bishop Haak noted the multi-cultural nation of the sprawling city in which delegates are meeting this week, 2-7 October. Almost 45% of the people who live in Sydney today were born outside of Australia and, while the largest country of origin remains the United Kingdom, over 140,000 originate from a Chinese-speaking country. According to the 2016 census community profile for the area in which Synod is meeting, 10% of people are Hindu; 15% follow Islam, and 18% profess no religion at all.
‘Sydney is a vast mission field’, Bishop Haak said.
Reflecting on the synodical theme, he urged the congregation to consider that ‘faith, freedom, and future is not just for us as the LCA or us as individuals, but faith, freedom, future is also for that vast sea of souls in Sydney and elsewhere who do not know Christ.
‘May our Convention of Synod have at its focus the benefits of Christ, and our calling on the Lord be such that others may join us in faith, in freedom, and in future.’