6th LWF International Seminar for Lay Persons

6th LWF International Seminar for Lay Persons in Church Leadership in Geneva and Wittenberg, June 18-27, 2023

by Yap Pei Ru

First and foremost, I would like to give praise and thanks to the Lord for this safe and meaningful journey to Geneva and Wittenberg! This seminar was indeed an eye-opening experience for me travelling on my own and meeting people who love God. Most importantly, sharing and learning about each other’s perspectives on faith, and successful stories in building their churches.

Despite the differences in culture, mother tongues and backgrounds, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ! A communion of churches! Very grateful for that!

This seminar was quite a big step for me, and I was nervous about meeting people who have so much more experience. However, deep in my heart I knew that God was walking along with me, and that my family and church members were praying for my safety and for the wisdom to understand his words.

Psalms 121:6-8 NIV “The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

Apart from joining the LWF World Service in the Ecumenical Centre, we also sat in sessions with the speakers Rev. Dr Cheryl Peterson, Rev. Katariina and Rev. Samuel Dawai. Some of the topics were: “Who and what is the church?”, “Leadership in the Early Church and Values of Leadership: Servanthood and use of power”, “Growing in leadership: A task and a challenge”. Short discussions and reflections were also included so we could further voice out our viewpoints and practices in our individual churches. We also had a short walkabout the city of Geneva which gave us a deeper understanding of Reformation History. Afterwards, we had a Service with Holy Communion at the Evangelical Church of Geneva, a once in a lifetime experience.

Psalms 29:2 NIV “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.”

Then, we went to the hometown of Martin Luther, Wittenburg. This is where it all started. Stepping into this town has been different, making sense of our Lutheran identity and what we strongly believe in. “We Believe in the Holy Spirit”. The Holy Spirit is bold, undaunted and fearless. Throughout these two weeks of learning and exploring, we learned that we are People of Faith and that is the core of leadership.

Although the praise and worship was in a different language, I can deeply feel the love and peace from God. I was reminded of the verse Matthew 28: 20 NIV “I am with you always, to the end of the age” Being physically there to experience and explore Luther House made this seminar even more meaningful. It was not easy during that period of the Protestant Reformation, but Martin Luther and his wife Katharina persevered and founded the Lutheran Church.

Especially thankful for Rev. Inken Wöhlbrand and Rev. Samuel Nanasi for the visit to Luther Garden where I found the tree planted by our former Bishop Terry Kee to commemorate 500 Years of Reformation. This movement represents us as part of the community, to promote peace and reconciliation between people of all cultures and beliefs, who value the freedom and worth of every person, while carrying the values of the Reformation into the future. We also stood under the “Heaven’s Cross” which is purposefully placed in the center of Luther Garden. We had a short devotion there which reflected on what the power of a worldwide community can bring about, that we can make a difference.

To sum up, I am very proud to have represented Singapore to participate in this first face-to-face LWF International Seminar since the COVID-19 pandemic. If there is another opportunity again, I would recommend you guys to give it a try and experience yourself! Despite the long hours of sharing and discussions, there were still pockets of time for breaks and we will always be learning from one another!

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Taking pubic transportation to the Ecumenical Center together with our fellow LWF representatives from all over the world, such as Finland, South Africa, Chile, Transylvania, Germany, India, Ukraine and more. It was a surprise to me that in Geneva, their public transportation services do not require any tapping of cards or verification unlike Singapore. This trip made me understand how different countries operate their services and their culture.

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It was saddening to know that we are leaving each other and going back to our home country. Still, I was very thankful that I ‘graduated’ from this LWF Seminar and met so many Brothers and Sisters In Christ. Once again, thank you Lord for keeping me safe.

第六届国际信义会(LWF) 平信徒领袖研讨会




尽管在文化、母语和背景上存在差异,但在基督里 ,我们都是兄弟姐妹!一个教会的共同体!非常感恩!


诗篇 121:6-8 “白日,太阳必不伤你,夜间,月亮必不害你。耶和华要保护你,免受一切的灾害,他要保护你的性命。你出你入,耶和华要保护你,从今时直到永远。”

除了参加国际信义会世界服务在合一中心的活动,我们还参与由Rev. Dr Cheryl Peterson、Rev. Katariina 和 Rev. Samuel Dawai主讲的单元主题。一些讨论主题包括:“教会是谁以及是什么?”,“早期教会的领袖的价值观,仆人精神和权力的运用”,“在领导中的成长:一项任务和挑战”。通过讨论和反思,我们能够进一步表达个人的观点和在所属教会里的实践经验。我们还在日内瓦市漫步 ,这使我们更深入地了解了宗教改革的历史。随后,我们在日内瓦福音教会参加圣餐礼拜,这是一生中难得的体验。

诗篇 29:2 “你们要将耶和华的名所当得的荣耀归给他,以圣洁的妆饰敬拜耶和华。”

然后,我们前往马丁路德的故乡,威登堡。这就是宗教改革的起点。踏入这个小镇,感受到路德宗身份和我们坚信的信仰联系在一起的独特体验。“我们信圣灵。” 圣灵是勇敢、无畏和无惧的。在这两周的学习和探索中,我们了解到我们是信心之民,这是领导力的核心。

尽管赞美和崇拜是用不同的语言进行,但我能深切感受到上帝的爱与平安。这让我想起了马太福音28:20 “我必常与你们同在,直到这世代的末了。” 身临其境地体验和探索路德之家,使这次研讨会变得更有意义。宗教改革那段时期是艱辛的,但马丁路德和其夫人Catherine 以坚韧不拔的精神创立了信义会。

特别感谢Rev. Inken Wöhlbrand和Rev. Samuel Nanasi带领参观路德花园,我在那里找到了由我们前任纪木和(Terry Kee)会督栽种的树,那是纪念宗教改革500周年。这一运动代表着我们作为社群的一部分,致力于促进各种不同文化和信仰的人之间的和平与和解,这些人都重视每个个体的自由和尊严,同时将宗教改革的价值观传承至未来。有个 “天堂十字” 刻意放置在路德花园的中央,我们站在那里进行了短暂的默想,反思。究竟全球性社群的力量,能够带来什么衝击?我们可以产生什么样的影响?

总的来说,这是自COVID-19以来的首次实体国际信义会研讨会,我以能代表新加坡出席感到非常自豪。如果有另一次机会的话,我会鼓励你们去参加,亲自体验一番! 尽管分享和讨论的时间很长,但仍然有一些时间可以休息,也可以让我们彼此学习。

乘坐公共交通工具一同前往世界各地的世界基督教联合会代表,与来自芬兰,南非,智利,特兰西瓦尼亚,德国,印度,乌克兰等地的LWF 代表乘坐公共交通到合一中心。 对我来说,日内瓦的公共交通服务不像新加坡那样需要刷卡认证,这让我感到意外。这次旅行让我了解到不同国家的服务运营的方式及文化。