In the first conference of its kind, 20 German Lutheran pastors and ministry workers who serve congregations in Australia met in Adelaide recently.

The EKiA, or the Evangelische Kirche in Australien, is a collaboration of Lutheran congregations with German-language services and ministries across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Some of these congregations are part of the German Lutheran Church EKD (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland), some are independent, while others are German-language ministries connected to LCA congregations. There is an agreement of altar and pulpit fellowship between the EKD and the LCA.

The five-day conference in mid-October provided ‘a very fruitful and insightful space for exchange, encouragement and learning from each other’, said Maria Rudolph, who leads the German-language services and ministry at St John’s Lutheran Church in Perth. ‘We were doubly blessed by the presence of EKD Bishop Ute Hedrich and LCA representatives Dr Tania Nelson, the executive officer for Local Mission, and Craig Heidenreich, the Cross-Cultural Ministry facilitator, who enriched our sessions greatly.’

Gerhard Ruediger of the Evangelical German Language Congregation in South Australia said Tania also highlighted the Memoranda of Understanding between the LCA and EKD, reaffirmed in 2001, for the mutual recognition and support of German-language ministry in Australia.

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