Former German bishop warns Lutherans against ‘losing our identity’

Schöne reminds assembly that there is no Life Together apart from Christ

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. (November 1, 2012)—In a world filled with secularism, relativism, liberalism and atheism, Lutherans can be in danger of “losing our identity and making compromises in good intention but being misled by our feelings,” warned the Rev. Dr. Jobst Schöne, bishop emeritus of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) of Germany.Schöne, the headlining speaker for the second day of the International Conference on Confessional Leadership, held in Peachtree City, Ga., spoke to a room of 120 confessional leaders representing more than 20 million Lutherans around the world.

Outlining a worldwide need for Life Together (Koinonía) among Lutherans, Schöne said instead, “It’s not a man-made Koinonía that we should try to find. Koinonía is and remains a divine gift.” It is “always Christ Himself by whom [we] are placed into this Koinonía,” he noted. 
This cross-focused Life Together “overcomes borders of all kinds: ethnic, cultural, social, race, gender or other kind,” Schöne explained, “making Christians altogether ‘one in Christ’ (Gal. 3:28).” 

LCMS President Matthew C. Harrison also presented to the conference, speaking on the topic of Lutheran Diakonía (Mercy). “The Church’s work of mercy extends beyond its own borders,” he said. “Jesus became incarnate in our flesh, and we take on the flesh of our neighbor when we serve our neighbor.”
“If we refuse to live that incarnate life,” he warned, “we render the Gospel a clanging cymbal.” 

This week’s conference speakers also included the Rev. Dr. Alister McGrath, King’s College, London, as well as Lutheran pastors from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Friday’s presentations will focus on Witness (Martyría) and will feature the Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba of the North American Lutheran Church. 

Daily news briefs and updates will be available via the Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog, LCMS Twitter, LCMS Facebook, the Synod’s video blog and KFUO Radio. The conference is made possible by a grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The 2.3 million-member Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at


Vicki Biggs
Director, Integrated Communications
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
314-996-1236 | 314-556-3829 (mobile)

Join us on the journey

Mission and Vision

Seven Mission Priorities

The Lutheran Witness Magazine

The Lutheran Witness Magazine

Fall 2022 Conference

Making Disciples for Life - Conference

Latest Convention Information

68th Regular Convention

Church Work Recruitment Initiative

Set Apart to Serve

Caring for Ukraine

Ukraine Support

Contact Us

  Email us

  Church Info Center: 888-843-5267
  Staff Switchboard: 800-248-1930
  Donor Care Line: 888-930-4438

 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7226


Guide Star Logo BBB Logo

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Inc., including Mission Central (in Mapleton, Iowa), is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.

A contribution designated (restricted) for a specific purpose, when accepted, will be used only to fund expenses related to that purpose. Occasionally, we may receive more in contributions for a particular purpose than can be wisely applied to it in the foreseeable future or the purpose may cease to be feasible. In these situations, the LCMS will make reasonable attempts to contact contributors to apply their contribution toward another aspect of ministry that aligns closely the contributor’s goals and values. If a contributor cannot be contacted, the LCMS will use the gift to meet a similar pressing need that most closely matches the contributor's original intent.

Consistent with Synod Board policy and in recognition of a more challenging economic and philanthropic/fundraising environment due to inflationary pressure, not more than 12.5 percent of any charitable contribution will be allocated to administering gifts and communicating with contributors (compared to a not-more-than ceiling of 10.5 percent the previous fiscal year). Contributions received and accepted by the LCMS are deemed to be in agreement with this statement.

Donor Transparency Resources

Employment   |   For the Media   |   Site Map   |   Privacy   |   Social Media Guidelines    |   Social Media Directory


© 2003 – 2010   The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. All Rights Reserved.