French Lutherans reelect president

by | Jul 5, 2024

Participants in the EELSF’s 2024 Synodical General Assembly.

FRANCE – The Evangelical Lutheran Church – Synod of France (Église Évangélique Luthérienne – Synode de France – EELSF) held its biennial Synodical General Assembly from May 10-12, 2024 in Châtenay-Malabry and Paris. The theme for the gathering was “First to the Lord,” based on 2 Corinthians 8:5.

EELSF President Gleisson R. Schmidt (front right) and the other elected members of the church’s Synodical Council.

The assembly saw Rev. Dr. Gleisson R. Schmidt reelected to a second term as president. Originally from Brazil, President Schmidt was first elected to lead the church in France in 2020. Rev. Garry V. Heintz was elected to serve as Vice President, succeeding Rev. Philippe Volff who had served in the role since 2012. Élodie Lieby was elected to serve as treasurer, Noëlle Boisnault was reelected as secretary, Jean-Luc Fortmann was elected as assistant to the treasurer, and Justine Volff was elected as assistant to the secretary.

Rev. François Lara of the Saint-Peirre parish in Châtenay-Malabry prepared a series of seven Bible studies on the convention theme, drawing on a study by Wilbert Kreiss entitled: “Living Stones and Faithful Stewards.” The seven studies, which were led by other pastors as Rev. Lara was unable to attend due to health reasons, discussed the consecration of: life; our thoughts; the body; our time; our talents; our goods; and our wealth.

A business session during the EELSF’s Synodical General Assembly.

Among other business, the EELSF’s assembly adopted a resolution calling for the creation of an online centre for theological education; adopted statements touching on sanctity of life issues; considered plans to establish church fellowship with several Lutheran church bodies in Africa; and resolved to seek fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (Suomen evankelisluterilainen Lähetyshiippakunta–ELMDF). The assembly also made plans to mark the 450th anniversary of the Book of Concord in 2027; the 500th anniversary of the Small and Large Catechisms in 2029; and the 500th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession in 2030.

SELK Bishop Hans-Jörg Voigt (second from right) brought greetings from the church in Germany to the EELSF’s Synodical General Assembly.

The church received written greetings from partner churches in Belgium, Canada, Chili, Haiti, and Paraguay. Bishop Hans-Jörg Voigt of Germany’s Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (Selbständige Evangelisch—Lutherische Kirche – SELK) brought greetings in person to the assembly.

The final day of the assembly saw participants gather for worship at Saint-Sauveur parish in Paris, during which time members of the Synodical Council were installed. A luncheon followed the service, with final assembly business taking place thereafter.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church – Synod of France is a member church of the International Lutheran Council (ILC), a global association of confessional Lutheran church bodies.


By Mathew Block

Mathew Block is Communications Manager for the International Lutheran Council. He is also editor of The Canadian Lutheran magazine, and formerly served as Communications Manager for Lutheran Church–Canada.

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