GERMANY – On the morning of October 14, Rev. Dr. Klaus Detlev Schulz was installed as General Secretary of the International Lutheran Council (ILC), during a festive service of Matins at St. Mary’s Church in Wittenberg marking the ILC’s 30th anniversary as a council.
“I want to thank you for your confidence,” Dr. Schulz said in an address to attendees later in the day. “Being Book of Concord Lutherans, we all need to know the Book of Concord. That is something it is my ambition to promote as much as possible in our churches: Book of Concord Lutheranism, that unites us all around this foundation that has been laid, Jesus Christ. I want to promote—to proclaim—our Lutheranism and preserve it, but also to protect it.”
“To accomplish this task, I ask for your support, and I ask especially for your prayers,” Dr. Schulz continued. “Thank you very much, and God bless you.”
Serving as liturgist and officiating over the installation of Dr. Schulz was ILC Chairman Juhana Pohjola, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland. The ILC’s outgoing General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Timothy C.J. Quill, preached for the anniversary service, reflecting on John 10:1-18. Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee of Lutheran Church–Canada served as an assisting minister, and Archbishop Joseph Ochola Omolo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya and Chairman George Samiec of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England served as lectors. President Alceu Alton Figur of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay bore the processional cross, with other members of the ILC’s board of directors also participating in the procession.
Special music—including choral music and a brass ensemble—were provided by cantor and organist Georg Mogwitz and the choir of St. Lukas church in Leipzig.
The service also saw the formal installation of Rev. Dr. Wilhelm Weber of South Africa as pastor of the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg (ILSW), which operates the International Lutheran Center at the Old Latin School in Wittenberg. The ILC is a full partner in the society, alongside The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and Germany’s Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK). LCMS President Matthew Harrison officiated over the installation of Dr. Weber.
A special prayer of dedication for the ILC Accreditation Agency (ILCAA) was also held during the service. The ILCAA will assist seminaries and other educational institutions in providing a quality theological education grounded in the authority of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. The ILC’s Chief Accreditation Officer, Rev. Dr. Steven Schumacher, led the prayer.
The International Lutheran Council is a global association of confessional Lutheran church bodies which proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the basis of an unconditional commitment to Scripture and to the Lutheran Confessions. While the ILC is celebrating 30 years since its reorganization as a “council,” the full history of the organization goes back to 1952.