(LWI) Three member churches of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) are getting ready to host the Twelfth Assembly of the LWF. One of their contributions is an Assembly song, written and composed by the Deputy Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia, Paul Hatani Kisting. It takes up the Assembly theme “Liberated by God’s Grace” and its three sub-themes “Salvation – not for sale”, “Human Beings – not for sale” and “Creation – not for sale”.
The song expresses not only the pain of the past but also the victory in faith we are offered through Christ
The Local Assembly Planning Committee in Namibia invited contributions from Namibian musicians and poets and he was one of those who responded to that call. “When we learned that the Twelfth Assembly would be hosted in Namibia we were filled with joy,” remembers Kisting. “The Assembly theme challenged me to contribute humbly to this very historic happening through music.”
The LWF and “Lutherans throughout the world” had made “a tremendous contribution” towards the liberation of Namibia from South African occupation in 1990, Kisting adds. Therefore, the song is structured in such a way “to express not only the pain of the past but also the victory in faith we are offered through Christ.”
Currently two worship committees - an international and a local body - are working hard on local Assembly preparations. “We are busy training the Assembly Mass Choir to sing the Assembly song and other pieces,” says Sakari Löytty, consultant to the worship committees. “To me, personally, it is a beautiful and a very singable song, which well serves the purpose as a theme song for the Assembly.”
The Local Worship Committee has prepared a CD with Assembly music. It has been provided to the local congregations of the three Lutheran churches in Namibia hosting the Assembly so they can learn the songs. Deputy Bishop Kisting and members of his family feature on the recording by singing the Assembly song.
“The CD is now supplied all over the country to make the songs well-known and we certainly wish that they will spread into the international communion after the Assembly,” says Löytty.
The theme songs will be sung during the Assembly worship services and at the Commemoration of the Reformation 500th Anniversary of the Reformation which will be held at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on 14 May. About 10,000 participants – both from the local churches as well as international guests – are expected at this event.