Rev. Lydia Posselt to preach at the Assembly closing worship

13 April 2017
Thirty-two year old ELCA pastor convinces with her sermon “The Jesus Parade”
Thirty-two year old ELCA pastor convinces with her sermon “The Jesus Parade”

(LWI) Thirty-two year old Rev Lydia Posselt from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will deliver the sermon at the closing worship of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia, on 16 May. She was one of the young pastors who submitted a sermon for the international preaching contest. Posselt was chosen from the ten finalists by an international jury as well as online voters.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen for this opportunity to preach in Namibia for such a momentous occasion,” says Posselt in reaction to the news. She was serving as an associate pastor when she decided to participate in the preaching contest. “I entered as a tribute to all the amazing women pastors and preachers, friends and colleagues, of all ages, who have influenced and mentored me,” Posselt replied, when asked about her motivation to participate.

Young pastors from LWF member churches submitted sermons for the preaching contest. The idea to invite a young pastor stemmed from the fact that Martin Luther was 33 years old when he triggered the Reformation in 1517. LWF GS Martin Junge expressed his gratitude for the inspiring sermons submitted.

“I am deeply impressed by the powerful interpretations given of the the topic of freedom in Christ. All LWF member churches were approached to promote the invitation to their young pastors. We are grateful for those who reached out to their talented young pastors and encouraged them to participate. The large number of submissions of sermons speaks the telling story of a reformation that is indeed ongoing".

Rev Posselt was chosen by an international jury composed of six male and female, ordained and lay members from different generations of the Lutheran communion of churches. In addition to their votes Posselt also received high scores amongst more than 6,000 online votes.

In the appraisal of Posselt’s sermon on Galatians 5:1, 22-26 titled “The Jesus Parade” one of the jury members states: “This is a well-written and theologically solid sermon. It both analyses the problem of sin on both the personal and social level, and it points our attention to how God will heal and redeem us. It takes up an ‘unpopular’ theme like ‘self-control’ and uses it to illustrate the nature of freedom in Jesus Christ. It makes a fitting allusion to Martin Luther.”

Lydia Posselt is currently serving a full time call at Family of God Lutheran Church in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, USA. “When I shared the news that I had been chosen for the top 10, my congregation was very excited,” says Posselt. Now that she has been selected as the winner, they have even more reason to be proud of their pastor.

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