‘Salvationists at the Wittenberg Door’
Theological symposium takes place in Germany
By Geoff Webb, Lt. Colonel –
The first-ever Salvation Army Europe Zone theological symposium took place in Wittenberg, Germany, to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 Theses, sparking the Reformation.
The dream of Commissioner Birgitte Brekke-Clifton (International Secretary, Europe Zone, International Headquarters), the symposium sought to empower young Salvationists from countries across Europe. With the title “Salvationists at the Wittenberg Door,” it aimed to increase understanding of the historical contribution of Luther to the Church during the past 500 years, while also encouraging delegates to make a renewed commitment to the life of holiness expressed through discipleship, and join God’s work in building a world where all can experience dignity and justice.
Present and past members of the International Theological Council attended in a support role for presenting papers and facilitating discussion. Special guest for the conference was Professor Oliver Davies (Renmin University, China); others making presentations included Petra Kjellen Brooke (Norway, Iceland and The Færoes), Lt. Markku Tulander (Finland and Estonia), and Rasmus Ljungberg and Captain Sarah Ilsters (both Sweden and Latvia).
The host territory, Germany, Lithuania and Poland, provided outstanding hospitality, including an evening of history and vignettes of community outreach in Germany, with warm fellowship featuring regional food specialities.
At the conclusion of the five-day gathering, the 47 delegates were invited to make personal commitments and, as a group, developed their own set of 45 theses reflecting contemporary issues and concerns.