MEXICO – The conference of the International Lutheran Council’s (ILC) Latin America Region met in Mexico City from December 2-5, 2021, following delays due to the pandemic.
The conference brought together representatives from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina; the Christian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bolivia; the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil; the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile; the Lutheran Church of Guatemala; the Lutheran Synod of Mexico; the Lutheran Church of Panama; the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay; the Evangelical Lutheran Church-Peru; the Lutheran Church of Uruguay; and the Lutheran Church of Venezuela. The ILC’s General Secretary Timothy Quill and Assistant to the General Secretary Roger James were also present, as were a number of other guests.
Theological presentations were given on two themes: 1) “The Confessional Orthodox Lutheran Role in a Heterodox and Subjective Context” (Prof. Dr. Clóvis Prunzel of Concordia Seminary in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil); and 2) “Pastoral Vocation: Lack, Stimuli, and Contextual Factors” (Prof. Dr. Sergio Schelske of Concordia Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina). Discussion centered on two areas: 1) the need to recruit a larger number of pastoral candidates; and 2) unique challenges related to opening new missions in each country.
During the conference, the Christian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bolivia officially announced its intention to seek full membership in the ILC after more than a decade as an Associate Member. Other noteworthy events included the signing of a mutual cooperation protocol between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina (IELA) and the Confessional Church of Chile (ILC-Chile).
The gathering also celebrated the forthcoming publication of a new Lutheran hymnal in Spanish after fifteen years of work. The hymnal will be welcomed into use throughout Spanish-speaking countries in the region, as well as in other parts of the world.
“It was a great meeting, since it was finally possible to overcome the challenges that have delayed celebrating this moment due to the current pandemic,” noted President Juan Pablo Lanterna of the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile. “It should be counted as a historic moment.”
From a report by ILC-Chile President Juan Pablo Lanterna