Asia: Medan, Indonesia, March 1st, 2003.
We, the thirty women from different parts of the Asian region, gathered together to deliberate on the theme of the 10th Lutheran World Federation Assembly, 'For the Healing for the World'.
This inter-generational gathering of women was the most unique and intimate experience, where amidst our diverse and complex backgrounds, we found the commonalities of faith, confession and experiences as women. We affirmed the positive and also acknowledged the negative characteristics of our region.
Issues, Concerns and Recommendations
As Asian Lutheran women, we felt strongly that the spirit of the Reformation needs to continue to reform the church and society. In this spirit, among the many concerns and issues of our region, we highlighted the following four:
1. The Lutheran theological ideal of "the priesthood of all believers" is not commonly upheld and emphasized in our congregations.
We request that:
--the theologians and pastors of our member churches preach and teach from the Scriptures with a fully human hermeneutic in the example of Jesus which encompasses the experiences of all believers: children, youth, women and men.
--while continuing inter-faith and ecumenical dialogue, member churches need to concentrate more on action together in solidarity for the common good, with openness and love.
--the LWF work to facilitate the concept of communion more fully.
--member churches review the 3 "L's (Liturgy, Lectionary, and Language) in order to heighten the experience of communion.
2. Silence and taboo continues to surround the HIV/AIDS pandemic within our congregations.
--We request that LWF accompany member churches in breaking the taboo surrounding the HIV/AIDS pandemic and facilitate education programs for prevention and cure, as a matter of urgency.
3. The environment is being placed under serious threat by deforestation, pollution, the threat of war and the commodification of natural resources such as water.
a. We urge the LWF to openly condemn any country that:
1. promotes war or is at war
2. promotes the use of nuclear and biological weapons
b. We urge the LWF to call for all countries to disarm for the protection of lives and the environment.
c. For the sake of the environment, we call for 2 campaigns: a recycling campaign, practicing the 3 'R's--"Reuse, Reduce and Recycle"--and a tree-planting and education campaign, in and through all member churches.
4. The natural act of care giving has increasingly become a commodity in our Asian region through sex tourism, trafficking of women and children, and the exploitation of domestic helpers and migrant workers.
We urge the member churches to:
--document the following issues of child labor, bonded labor, migrant workers, and other human rights issues
--form congregation-based social action groups to address these issues.
--promote entrepreneurial/self-help skills to increase economic empowerment and independence of women.
We also commend the document "Churches Say 'No' to Violence against Women". We strongly urge that LWF assist member churches in working to translate this document into more local languages and distribute it to all congregations. We request that the heads of churches use this document for further discussion within their pastors' meetings and within their communities.
We appreciate the strategy of WICAS, to bring us women together into our regional pre-assembly which better equipped us for our role as delegates in the coming Assembly, 'For the Healing of the World'.
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|Date:||Jul 1, 2003|
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