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October 27, 2009

Rev. Martin Junge Named General Secretary of Lutheran World Federation

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council elected the Rev. Martin Junge on October 26 to a seven-year term as the eighth LWF General Secretary. The election occurred during the LWF Council meeting which is taking place October 22-27 at Chavannes-de-Bogis, near Geneva, Switzerland. The former president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile (Iglesia Evangelical Luterana en Chile - IELC) becomes the first representative from the Latin America and Caribbean region to hold the highest position at the LWF Secretariat.

Junge will succeed Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko at the end of October 2010. Noko, who became the first African to serve as LWF General Secretary in June 1994, was affirmed as general secretary in 1997 and re-elected in 2004.

The seven-member search committee for a new general secretary was headed by the former president of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Rev. Iteffa Gobena and included Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. The ELCIC is one of the LWF's 140 member churches.

Bishop Johnson, who is currently in Geneva for the LWF Council meeting, congratulated Rev. Junge on his election and noted, We look forward to working together with him in this new capacity and welcome his as a friend of the church in Canada.

Since September 2000, Junge has been the area secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean at the LWF Department for Mission and Development (DMD). His key achievements as DMD area secretary include the strengthening and refocusing of the LWF’s programmatic work in the region, and the implementation and structuring of the advocacy program launched by Latin American LWF member churches to deal with the problem of illegitimate foreign debt in the region.

Since 2008 Junge has been pursuing a diploma in the management of not-for-profit organizations at the Verbandsmanagement Institut” (VMI) of the University of Freiburg in Switzerland.

From 1996 to 2000, Junge was President of the IELC. Following his 1989 ordination as an IELC pastor, Junge served in two congregations in Santiago de Chile from 1989 to 2000. He studied Protestant theology between 1980 and 1986 at the Georg August University in Göttingen, Germany.

General secretary-elect Junge is married, with two children.

The general secretary conducts the business of the LWF in collaboration with the cabinet, made up of the directors of departments and units appointed by the council. The position holder is responsible for the implementation of the Council and LWF Assembly decisions. The next assembly is in July 2010 in Stuttgart, Germany.

More information on the Lutheran World Federation is available at: www.lutheranworld.org

(With files from Lutheran World Information.)

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

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