Assembly News and Updates
Freed in Christ to Serve
Presiding Bishop George Walker of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church greeted the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is the ELCA’s newest ecumenical partner.
“This has been a marvelous occasion for me, and I feel very much at home in a deliberate setting as I have been here today. The experience has been phenomenal,” Bishop Walker told the assembly.
“I do want to thank you for this invitation,” he said. “I want to thank Bishop Hanson for the very cordial way he has received me on several occasions. My presence here today is indicative of the very warm relationship established through the fellowship of myself and Bishop Leonard Bolick of the ELCA North Carolina Synod.”
“We share with you this mission statement, crafted by both churches, which signifies our mutual commitment … and strengthens our witness,” said Bishop Walker. The ELCA and African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church ”are called to the ministry of reconciliation as brothers and sisters in Christ. This calling is shared in trust by all Christians who profess an abiding faith in our risen Lord,” he said.
“We believe it’s time for both churches to come together … to become more effective in sharing God’s vision throughout the world. As we listen and speak our stories of faith, we believe we can create better relationships … to identify the tapestry of God’s vision in our communities of faith,” he said.
“It is in this spirit that I am pleased to greet you today in your Churchwide Assembly and congratulate you in your passion and tenacious stand as you grapple with many of the major issues of our society. May God continue to bless you,” said Bishop Walker.
At the conclusion of his greeting, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly offered a standing ovation.