Participants: 315 voting delegates from 97 member churches attended. In addition, there were 300 youth participants, 50 LWF staff members, 270 press and media representatives, 1500 advisers, observers and official guests from more than 100 countries.
Highlights: The themes assigned to working groups included: mission and evangelism today, worship and Christian life, enabling ministry, ecumenical commitment and Lutheran identity, relating to the information age, partnership of women and men, youth in church and society, toward economic and social justice, caring for God’s endangered creation, racism in church and society, promoting human rights, Christian life in different social systems and our responsibility for peace and justice. Some 350 resolutions were made. Bishop Zoltan Kaldy was elected LWF president and Rev. Carl Mau became General Secretary. The main decision was to suspend membership of two white LWF churches from southern Africa on the basis of their continued support of apartheid and their failure to end the division of their churches on racial grounds. Other decision included a declaration that all member churches understood themselves to be in pulpit and altar fellowship, that at least 40 percent of delegates to the next assembly be women, rising to at least half for subsequent assemblies. The Assembly statement, The self-understanding and task of the LWF, illuminated the Federation’s growing awareness of itself as communion, a global communion of Lutheran churches and not simply a voluntary association of churches.