In early September 2022, ELCIR Bishop Ivan Laptev attended the Retreat of Newly-Elected Leaders (RoNEL) at the Ecumenical Center of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland. Sixteen bishops and presidents of Evangelical Lutheran churches from around the world met each other, shared about their ministry experience, discussed theological matters, and modern challenges faced by the Christian community. The retreat continued in Wittenberg, Germany. This event is a good opportunity to get a detailed picture of trends in contemporary Lutheranism.
“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pet. 5:1-5, ESV)
Photo credits: Bishop Ivan Laptev, Bishop’s Vicar Konstantin Subbotin