CELC meets in Seoul, South Korea

The 2023 Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC) convention was held in Seoul, South Korea, June 6-8. Representatives and guests from 27 countries around the world attended the convention, which was originally scheduled for 2020. This eagerly anticipated event hosted by Seoul Lutheran Church offered a unique platform for devoted Lutherans from around the world to deepen their faith, engage in theological discussions, and foster fellowship. Providing a rich program of worship, devotions, theological presentations, and networking opportunities, the convention served as a source of inspiration and an avenue for strengthening biblical fellowship between these church bodies.

An opening communion service brought the participants together around Word and sacrament. Pastors from a variety of CELC church bodies presented devotions, and hymns were sung throughout the week. Several times during the convention, CELC president Rev. Tom Nass noted the beautiful sound of voices from so many cultures blending together when singing the hymns and liturgies.

The convention’s theological essays provided much opportunity for discussion. Pastors and professors from various regions presented these papers and led discussions on multiple topics ranging from civil government to training laity for evangelism. Attendees had the opportunity to engage one another with questions and shared experiences from their respective fields. The essays helped to foster a deeper understanding of the core beliefs that unite these churches.

Seoul, a city blending rich tradition with modernity, provided a vibrant backdrop for the convention. Seoul Lutheran Church provided a tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace, one of South Korea’s most important historical sites, followed by a banquet filled with traditional Korean delicacies. Professional musicians entertained the attendees after the banquet with a program of beautiful classical and traditional Korean music.

The convention offered a unique environment for fellowship and networking, allowing attendees to build connections with Lutherans from different cultures and backgrounds. Informal interactions during breaks and meals facilitated the exchange of personal experiences, challenges, and triumphs within the context of shared faith. Pastors, church leaders, and laypeople alike had the opportunity to form meaningful relationships, laying the foundation for future collaborations, mutual support, and unity within this worldwide confessional Lutheran community.

The CELC is an international fellowship of 34 confessional Lutheran church bodies, of which WELS is a member. Learn more about the CELC at celc.info.

Submitted by Rev. Paul Fries, communications director, Evangelical Lutheran Synod


View photos from the convention.


2024 CELC Convention