ILC and LWF Meeting in Wittenberg


​Rev. Martin Junge, the General Secretary of LWF
Rev. Dr. Nicholas Tai, Dean of Lutheran Theological Seminary, Hong Kong
​OKR Norbert Denecke, LWF German National Committee
​Rev. Dr. Kaisamari Hintikka, LWF Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations
​Rev. Dr. Carlos Bock, the Director of LWF Department for Mission and Development

​Bishop Hans-Jörg Voigt, ILC Chairman
​Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, ILC Executive Secretary
​President Rev. James Cerdeñola
​President Rev. Gijsbertus van Hattem

Both the LWF and ILC are honoring the commitment they made for the executive committees of each organization to meet with one another as agreed in the memorandum of understanding from 3 March 2005.

Dr. Collver and General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge with Martin Luther

Both the LWF and ILC thanked one another and appreciated the frank conversation and transparency shown in the discussion. Both agreed that the conversation was valuable and looks forward to the next opportunity to gather. A desire was expressed to meet annually. The LWF will host the next meeting in Geneva on January 14, 2015.

On 14 November 2013, the ILC showed the LWF delegation the “Old Latin School” in Wittenberg. The ILC plans to have a regional office here once construction is completed.

The group saw the building construction and the newly poured concrete foundation.

The Old Latin School was built 18 years after Martin Luther’s death. The book How Wittenberg Looked when Luther Lived describes the Old Latin School: “Eighteen years after Luther’s death the situation changed insofar as under Mayor Heilinger, the father-in-law of Luther’s son Martin, a new boys’ school was built in the northwestern corner of the church square, thus replacing the old ossuary. It still exists today as the old high school (now Wattrodt’s print shop), not, however, after having undergone many changes. – After this building was finished, the old girls’ school was torn down and moved to the former boys’ school which was called girls’ school from then on. This caused some confusion among researchers who were unaware of this change.”

The top photo shows the exposed wood beam from the Old Latin School. The historic records note that Bible verses and sections of the Small Catechism were written on the beams and exterior walls of the school. The lower photo shows what the reconstruction might look like. This photo is near Luther’s house, the old Augustinian Monastery.

Pictured here is the Augustinian Monastery. Later this became the house of Martin and Katie Luther.

President James Cerdeñola and Dr Albert Collver enjoy the frosty Wittenberg morning at the old Elbe Gate.

We also visited the Luther Garden near the Castle Church, which is under reconstruction.

The Missouri Synod as well as other ILC partners have trees in the Luther Garden.

The Wittenberg Town Hall.

We visited both the ELCA Wittenberg Office and the LWF Wittenberg Office.

The visit to Wittenberg was very good and productive.

– Posted by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver on 14 November 2013 using BlogPress from my iPhone


Old Latin School Update — The Wittenberg Project

Today, while visiting Wittenberg, Germany, for an International Lutheran Council (ILC) meeting I had the opportunity to visit the Old Latin School being renovated by The Wittenberg Project. Rev. David Mahsman, an LCMS missionary,
is the project director for the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg (ILSW), a RSO of the Missouri Synod, and is a joint venture between the LCMS,
The Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) and Concordia Publishing House.

Rev. David Mahsman pictured on 11 November 2013 inspects the construction / renovation work that began just a few weeks ago.

When we arrived today workers were excavating bones under the ground floor. The archeological excavation is required under German law when historic buildings are renovated.

The Old Latin School is adjacent to Saint Mary’s City Church in Wittenberg. Saint Mary’s is the church where Martin Luther served as preacher in addition to his duties at Wittenberg University. The Old Latin School was built in 1565 over top of the bone yard for Saint Mary’s Church. Because of this the discovery of bones in the archeological excavation is not surprising.

Workers dump construction waste out of a third story window. The “white” mist in the lower picture is the result of the dust from the construction floating into the air.

Workers continue to excavate (top photo). The lower photo the elevator shaft being created for the renovated building.

The top photo shows the refuse being removed and dumped out of the third floor window. The lower picture is of an exposed beam from the original construction of the building. It is quite likely that as was the custom of the day that the beam would have been painted with a Bible verse or a section of the Small Catechism.

Although this door doesn’t look like much, it likely dates from the original construction back in 1565. It will be restored and used in the building which, D.v., should open in the Spring of 2015.

Right now it appears as if much of Wittenberg is under construction as people prepare for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Pictured above is the Prussian Tower in protective wrap that was added to the Castle Church where Martin Luther placed the 95 Theses in 1517.

Today, 11 November 2013, is fitting to visit Wittenberg as it is the baptismal birthday of Martin Luther, christened on 11 November 1483 and named after Martin of Tours. It was great to see the progress of the Wittenberg Project and the beginning of the restoration of the Old Latin School.

– Posted by Rev. Dr. Albert B Collver, Director of Church Relations, on 11 November 2013 using BlogPress from my iPhone.



Reformation Sermon — President Harrison


President Harrison preached on Reformation Day at Concordia Seminary Saint Louis (31 October 2013) on Romans 3.