The value of communion in a diverse world

Darius Lee says he is honored and privileged to have been part of Workshop Wittenberg. LWF/Johanan C. Valeriano

The Wittenberg workshop of young reformers from all over the world stands out as a remarkable testimony of unity in a communion of cultural diversity, says Darius Lee, a member of the Global Young Reformers’ Network steering committee.


Two years ago in 2013, the Steering Committee of the Global Young Reformers’ Network met in Lutherstadt Wittenberg for the first time, together with our creative advisors. We had an enriching experience as we sat and discussed our plans in the lead-up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

Two years after that first meeting in Wittenberg, young reformer delegates from all over the world came together in the city where Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church, a momentous event that marked the beginning of the Lutheran Reformation.

All regions of The Lutheran World Federation - Africa, Asia, Central Eastern Europe, Central Western Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Nordic Countries and North America—were represented in a beautiful reflection of our unity in communion amidst our cultural diversity.

In the Book of Revelation, we are presented with an image in heaven of “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language” standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb in worship (Revelation 7:9).

As I looked at the myriad of diverse cultures gathered in one place, I could not resist the sense that this was a taste of heaven. Indeed, this was and will be an enduring testimony to the value of communion, which is rooted in what it means to be human.

Each and every human being is made in the image of God and has intrinsic value and dignity (Genesis 1:27), meaning that human beings have value in and of themselves and cannot, for example, be bought or sold for money as it happens so often in the objectionable practice of human trafficking. In that same way, our relationships and our communion have intrinsic value. Relationships are an important part of what it means to be human, for God said about Adam in the Garden of Eden, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).

Throughout the course of the workshop, I have had many meaningful conversations and discussions with people from all over the world and forged many friendships that I believe will endure. It was a pity that I could not stay for the whole workshop due to my work commitments back home in Singapore.

I am glad, however, to have had the honor and privilege of serving on the Steering Committee and to have been part of Workshop Wittenberg 2015.

I am glad, also, that this is not the end. We will be eagerly looking forward to the LWF youth pre-assembly next year and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.


Darius Lee is a member of the GYRN Steering Committee. He comes from the Lutheran Church in Singapore.

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