This morning Bishop Ben Chun Wa Chang from the Lutheran Church of Hong Kong delivered an official greeting to the 19th General Convention of Synod on behalf of Lutheran World Federation General Secretary Rev Dr Martin Junge.
‘Only a bit over a year ago I had the privilege of visiting your church. During that visit I was able to grap the way you express the good news of Christ in your particular context. I remember with fondness the encounters with those engaged in the impressive educational and diaconal work of the church, or those working among the aborigine’s communities.
‘I remember the worship in Shepparton … “This is all about the new creation in Christ”, I thought while rejoicing over the new citizenship of equals into which Christ calls the baptized, a citizenship acquired once and forever by his precious blood at the cross. In Christ, God wiped away those differences, which for us humans at times tend to become so defining.
‘During my stay among you I was also able to better understand the history of your church, which has its roots in two different church bodies that came together to form the Lutheran Church in Australia. Although a decades-old merger, I understood that the process of growing together is still unfolding.
‘I want to offer a word of encouragement for you today, knowing about the challenges posed by secularism, with new laws squeezing the church into difficult places, with hardship to reach the young. God’s story with the Lutheran Church in Australia is not over. Hence, rooted in your past journey, I encourage you to remain open to receive and to embrace what God may be doing anew among you. Because God is alive, you should indeed have lots of expectations for your church!’