Regional Women`s Meetings

WICAS in collaboration with DMD Area Secretaries is organizing a one-day meeting with all the women nominated as delegates to the Assembly in each region. Added to the delegates, WICAS is inviting a few women who hold the position of WICAS Regional Coordinators and/or women theologians who have played a key role in the Women on the Move process.

The above-mentioned areas of work were presented to all regional leadership meetings, by the regional coordinators who have been working on the Women on the Move agenda. Regional implementation is in process; therefore, at the women’s meetings prior to the regional pre-assemblies, thefour4 thematic areas will be explored with a regional perspective, which will feed the global interaction in Windhoek prior to and during the Assembly. 

The dates of the Pre-Assemblies have been scheduled as follows:

  • Asia: 15 to 19 August 2016, Bangkok – women’s pre-meeting: 14 August
  • Latin America & the Caribbean and North America: 29 August to 2 September 2016, Suriname – women’s pre-meeting: 27 August
  • Europe: 31 January to 2 February 2017, Malmö-  women’s pre- meeting: 30 January 
  • Africa: 5 to 11 February 2017, Johannesburg – women’s pre- meeting: 04 February
  • Youth Pre-Assembly: 3 to 9 May 2017, Ondangwa (Namibia)
  • Women’s Pre-Assembly: 6 to 9 May 2017, Windhoek 


Asian women`s meeting to prepare for the LWF`s Twelfth Assembly

Women delegates from The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member churches in Asia were gathered for the Women in Church and Society (WICAS) meeting before the regional Pre-Assembly, taking place in Thailand's capital, 15-19 August.

LWF churches in Asia have nominated delegates to participate in the Twelfth Assembly, which will be held in Windhoek, Namibia next year. Some are ordained pastors, others lay and all are active in the churches.  They were also introduced to the work of the LWF Women on the Move program, which has four main themes: telling Herstories, implementing the LWF Gender Justice Policy, supporting women doing theology and strengthening the role of women in leadership.

Rev. Dr Elaine Neuenfeldt , Secretary for Women in Church and Society,  said the outcomes of the day were very positive. “The Gender Justice Policy has been translated into many languages in Asia and this shows the relevance and ownership of this theme in the women’s network and in the churches. Many of the women were attending an LWF meeting for the first time. With this meeting they were empowered to take informed decisions at the Assembly as active delegates representing their churches and the region.”

Women delegates from LWF member churches in Asia make paper windmills at the Women in Church and Society meeting to symbolically express that we "Women are on Move", held before the regional Pre-Assembly. Photo: LWF/A. Danielsson

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and North America women`s meeting to prepare  for the Assembly

Women delegates and other officials from the 19 LWF member churches from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and North America, gathered at Suriname to discuss about the forth coming LWF assembly. One of the emphases of the meeting was to prepare women to actively participate LWF Assembly in Windhoek. 

"An end to hunger is not only possible but doable because God has provided. … As people of faith we can say yes to zero hunger and gender equity and better serve our neighbor.” Mikka McCracken, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Photo: LWF/Hubert Hermelijn

Dr Mary J. Streufert, WICAS coordinator for North America and also the director of the program for gender justice at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America emphasized  that“Gender justice must be addressed in this context of growing vulnerabilities that push women further into poverty.”

Women`s Meeting in Africa

Symbolized by the four wings of a windmill, being driven on by the “breath of Reformation”, the women presented their message to the Pre-Assembly. The message centred around  the four main topics they had discussed: women’s leadership, women doing theology, the “Her Stories” project, which relays stories of women in the communion, and the LWF Gender Justice Policy.

“These issues are not women’s, they are church issues,” Colleen Cunningham, member of the steering committee for Women in Church and Society (WICAS), is convinced.

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Regional meeting in Europe 

“This anniversary represents a splendid opportunity not only tell the histories of the Lutheran churches and Reformation but also the her-stories: The stories of women and their contribution to the witness of LWF member churches and the Lutheran communion as a whole”, Rev. Dr Martin Junge, General Secretary of The Lutheran World Federation, said in his address to the European Pre-Assembly in Höör, Sweden.

Speaking of the journey of the Lutheran Communion throughout the years the General Secretary made special mention of the contribution of youth and women. "Youth and women and their inclusion in our journey have been a blessing," he said. The LWF has a policy of including at least 40% men and women and 20% youth in its governing bodies.

This has, he said, broadened the perspectives of the communion. To have young people as active participants has enabled a deeper understanding of a number of issues. “It is because of the input of the youth that we have our sharp focus on climate justice as an issue of intergenerational justice,” he underlined, expressing gratitude for the leadership of global young reformers in the work of the LWF.

The LWF member churches have committed through several Assembly decisions to move towards full inclusion of women in the ordained ministry. This is an ongoing journey. While knowing the different contexts and specific challenges that may arise, the communion doesn’t lose sight of this goal. Noting this, the General Secretary also said that sharing stories about the leadership of women is an integral part of commemorating the Reformation anniversary.