NELCSA Synod elected Pastor Theodor Jäckel as Bishop on 15 October 2022
Word of greeting from Synod 2021, 14-16 October 2022 at North Rand, Gauteng
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, dear Siblings, We greet you from a Synod that has finally met in person. We are, by God’s grace, “Alive” to celebrate this time together, a year later than planned. We recognize the heavy toll of Covid, social isolation, job losses, unrest, floods and failing government functions has had on us. Nevertheless, we have been amazed at the stories of resilience, adaptation and change that have occurred amongst our congregations. But the mental, social, and economic strain has left its mark, and work is needed to heal. All throughout, the value of partnership and mutual support and solidarity between congregations and sister churches in Christ became evident. The words of greeting from our partners encouraged us. We thank you all for responding to the challenges set to the Synod topic of “Alive”. The responses have been filled with vivid, vibrant creativity. This is all to be shared, on various platforms. In our deliberations, we discussed our virtual presence and use of social media to extend the reach of the church. The value of church festivals and meeting as Circuits and as a whole Church was highlighted. We were delighted at the reports of good student numbers in the theological education facility, Stellenbosch, and a new interest in the Lutheran theology at this level. Synod ratified the working group looking at church structures and ministry models, that address the changes in demographics, financial pressures, urbanization, globalization, social change, and perceived value of church. The working group will do initial analysis, then engage with church leadership and congregations. Synod elected Theo Jäckel as the new Bishop of NELCSA. In addition, the following persons were elected: Deputy to the bishop: Petra Röhrs Ordained Member of Church Council: Udo Lütge Dean, Northern Circuit: Detlev Tönsing Deputy Dean, Northern Circuit: Nicole Otte-Kempf Dean, Eastern Circuit: Mark Meier Deputy Dean, Eastern Circuit: Reiner Focke
We wish all incumbents strength and wisdom in their new roles.
The outgoing Bishop, Horst Müller, was acknowledged from within Synod and by partner churches for his diligence, kindness, theological and technical expertise. We thank him for being an anchor in NELCSA’s church life.
In closing, we encourage you to consciously “dress for life, dress for faith, wear your faith”. As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Col. 3:12-14). BE ALIVE!