The Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC) is a worldwide fellowship of Lutheran church bodies committed to the teachings of the Lutheran church found in the Book of Concord of 1580. WELS and 12 other church bodies established the CELC in 1993. Since then the CELC has grown by God’s grace to include 34 church bodies today.
Every three years, representatives from all CELC churches gather for fellowship and theological study at an international convention. In addition to the full meeting, various regional meetings are held in alternate years. One such regional meeting of our sister church bodies in Europe took place recently in Durres, Albania. Thirty-two representatives and guests met May 20-22 under the theme “Triumph together in Christ.”
Professor Mark Paustian of Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn., led participants in a study of Romans chapters 7-8 and Exodus chapters 3-4. Churches presented reports highlighting blessings and challenges from their fields and invited the conference to give thanks and pray for specific blessings. The conference concluded with a festival worship service and sermon based on Acts 1:1-8, “You will receive power!”
Participants found time for informal fellowship at the nearby beach, during a walking tour of downtown Durres, and on an excursion to Kruja, with its market, cafes, restored fortress, and historic museum.
Immediately after the conference, a dozen guests remained in Durres for a two-day workshop on 1 Thessalonians. Participants discussed the letter’s original impact for believers enduring persecution and considered contemporary blessings as we serve souls and await Christ’s return.
We give thanks to God for blessing the participants in this conference, and we pray that he will use it as a means to strengthen our fellowship and our commitment to the mission he has given us.
Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder