Retreat of Newly Elected Leaders (RoNEL)

For newly elected bishops and church presidents from member churches of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), there is an annual meeting called Retreat of Newly Elected Leaders (RoNEL). The LWF Center Wittenberg and the Communion Office in Geneva jointly organize these events. They take place in both locations.

In Geneva, participants meet with members of the LWF staff. They learn about the structure of the Communion Office and the fields of work of the LWF.

In Wittenberg, the focus is on sharing experiences with church leaders who have been in office for some time. In addition, conversations and encounters among the participants and visits to historic sites of the Reformation complement the program.

In Geneva and Wittenberg, different dimensions of leadership responsibility are examined: Organization and leadership style in the respective church, the perception of spiritual and theological leadership, and the representation of church positions in society (“public witness”). In addition, daily devotions, and a celebration of the Eucharist at the end of the week shape the spiritual life.

In the intensive exchange for a week, a fellowship develops that connects the conference participants beyond the retreat itself and gives them a living experience of the global communion of the LWF.

The conferences are held in English.

Upcoming Retreat

19 - 28. November 2023
Retreat of Newly Elected Leaders (RoNEL) from LWF member churches

Participation Criteria

By invitation only. Participants of RoNEL are individually invited through LWF’s Communion Office in Geneva.

“The days together were a wonderful opportunity to exchange the encouragement and experiences which come from belonging to a worldwide church community. Considering Bible passages together greatly enriched me. Such personal encounters are an important part of building communities.”

Bishop Paweł Hause, Diocese of Masuria, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland
Photo: LWF/A. Weyermüller

Impressions from the Reatreats

Participants of the 5th RoNEL held in 2019 discuss church leadership. They are (from left) Church President John Shadrack Donkoh (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana), Bishop Patricia Ann Davenport (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, ELCA), Senior Pastor Geofrey Njapau (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia), Bishop Deborah Hutterer (ELCA), and Bishop Sue Briner (ELCA). Photo: LWF/A. Weyermüller
Participants of the 1st RoNEL held in 2015 visit the LWF Communion Office in Geneva. Photo: LWF
Small-group exchange during the 5th RoNEL held in 2019 between (from left) Church President Kim Eun Seob (Lutheran Church in Korea), Bishop Patricia Ann Davenport (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), translator Tae Hoon Kim, South Korea, and Church President John Shadrack Donkoh (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana). Photo: LWF/A. Weyermüller
Rev. Dr. Ireneusz Lukas, LWF Regional Secretary for Europe, and Rev. Dr. Philip Lok, LWF Regional Secretary for Asia, give participants at the 5th RoNEL a tour of the Communion Office in Geneva. 2019, Photo: LWF/C. Kaestner
Church President Germán Loayza (Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church) presents his church and country during the 5th RoNEL. Photo: LWF/C. Kaestner
Participants of the 4th RoNEL in 2018 gather for a guided tour of Wittenberg. Photo: LWF Center Wittenberg
Participants in the 5th RoNEL follow a presentation by Rev. Joachim Zirkler, Director of Studies at the LWF Wittenberg Center. 2019, Photo: LWF/A. Weyermüller
Group photo of the 5th RoNEL in front of St. Mary Town Church in Wittenberg. 2019, Photo: LWF/A. Weyermüller

Do you have questions about our seminars?

Please contact us. We are happy to answer your questions.

Further Seminars

International Seminars for Pastors
International Seminars for Laypersons in Church Leadership
International Seminars for Alumni
Seminars for Groups from LWF Member Churches
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