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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Conference studies 21st century mission work

A continuing interest in spirituality could be the occasion for a renewal of the church, Timothy Lull told nearly 150 ecumenical mission specialists at the Congress on the World Mission of the Church in June.

Speaking at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., Lull also warned, "The most formidable obstacle to the missional task may be the general comfort level and affluence of most North American Christians." Lull is president of Pacific Lutheran Seminary, Berkeley, Calif.
Speaking at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., Lull also warned, "The most formidable obstacle to the missional task may be the general comfort level and affluence of most North American Christians." Lull is president of Pacific Lutheran Seminary, Berkeley, Calif.

Mission specialists from around the world met in 11 discussion groups, none open to the press or the public because they were dealing with "extremely sensitive ecclesiastical and political questions." Their task was to "reconsider and restate the missionary obligation of the world Christian community," especially its North American segment.

One of the congress' closing statements concluded: "Mission structures for the 21st century need a greater interconnectedness and agility; they need to involve a greater number of people in decision-making and in carrying these decisions out; they need to eliminate the false separation between 'overseas' and 'domestic' mission; and ensure fairer access to resources."


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