A mixed group of Anglicans and Lutherans, delegates and guests at the Lutheran World Federation Assembly in Stuttgart, descended on our own St Catherine's Church for the eucharist on Sunday 25 July. Close to 1000 people are at the Assembly and they were free to visit local congregations in the vicinity for Sunday worship. Naturally most were hosted by Lutheran parishes. It was good that our own Anglican parish could welcome a delegation. Even though our congregation is temporarily meeting in the Leonardskirche while renovations are being carried out to St Catherine's Church itself, the usual warm welcome awaited us, as well as cake and refreshments in the parish centre afterwards. The delegation remarked to me afterwards how much they felt at home in our very multinational and multicultural parish.
Pictured above from left to right: The Revd Dr David Pfrimmer (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada), Ms Inge Marie Nordstrand (Church of Norway), Fr Michael Naidu (St Catherine's), Fr Ken Dimmick (St Catheriine's), Bishop Trevor Mwamba (Botswana), and Deacon Ulf Kundler (Church of Sweden).
Dr Pfrimmer is an old friend. Close to 25 years ago we worked together in Canada on the Inter-church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America. He now teaches Ethics at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. Inge Marie is probably the Assembly delegate from the point furthest north on the globe. She lives in Tromsø, and is also a representative of the Sami community within the Church of Norway. Deacon Ulf is known to many in our diocese as he was formerly the chaplain to the Bishop of Visby, our companion diocese. He now lives in Stockholm. Bishop Trevor is a member of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission. (He also appears in Alexander McCall Smith's No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series and in the BBC TV programmes based on the books). He lives in Gabarone.
In the picture below is also the Revd Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan (in blue), the Director of Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion with former St Catherine's Churchwarden John Thomson pointing out some sights in the city.
There was one other official Anglican guest at the Assembly, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, who had already returned home, but is pictured below right in the photo of the 4 Anglican guests. Archbishop Hiltz is the Co-chairman of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission.