Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
This summer, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada hosted the Lutheran World Federation Assembly in Winnipeg. The theme of the Assembly, taken from the book of Revelation, was For the Healing of the World, a word of powerful hope in a world wounded by war, pollution, disease, economic injustice, and many other sorrows.
For ten days, July 21–31, the ELCIC welcomed 436 delegates from 136 Lutheran church bodies in 76 countries, hundreds of other official guests and participants, as well as thousands of visitors and volunteers. All gathered in hope, willing to work with God for the healing of the world.
Decisions were made; a new President of the Federation was chosen. Conversation and fellowship built relationships between Lutherans from many places and of diverse cultures and languages. Representatives from the worldwide communion of churches called the LWF, worshipped together often, including a daily sharing of the Eucharist.
The writer of Revelation sees a world healed and made whole, a world at worship, with God and the Lamb at the centre. Worship now, whether at the Assembly or in our congregations, is for the healing of the world. Healing comes in the river of the water of life, the waters of baptism, in the fruits of the earth, bread and wine, in the tree of the cross, the tree of life, in the leaves of Scripture, bearing the risen One, the living Word of God, and in the people of hope who are the church, which is the body of Christ.
May the God who heals us in Jesus the risen Lamb also make us healers, that we may share the abundant hope which is ours in the power of the Holy Spirit.
-- Paul Johnson
Assistant to the Bishop for Ecumenical Relations
The main Assembly website has much information about this gathering of people from all corners of the earth. Click the 'Daily highlights' button on the home page for an overview of the day's events. Photos of the Assembly will be posted daily showing many of the events and participants. News releases will illuminate the issues revealed in the plenary sessions in more detail. Video and audio clips are also available.