Iglesia Luterana Costarricense

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ILCO celebrates 20th anniversary with songs, games and sharing

ILCO celebrates 20th anniversary with songs, games and sharing
 
On Saturday, August 23, the communities of faith and points of mission of the Costa Rican Lutheran Church (ILCO) celebrated the church’s 20th anniversary. The day-long celebration, which included liturgical worship, recreational games and fellowship activities, reflected a long history of accompaniment and ministry among various populations of Costa Rica.
 
Pastor Justo Espinoza led the worship service held at ILCO’s central offices, with the accompaniment of ILCO Bishop Melvin Jiménez and ELCA Bishop Leonard Bolick of North Carolina. In contrast to a traditional worship service, Espinoza invited participants to think of the entire day’s activities as worship in celebration of the 20th anniversary.

Those activities were numerous. Julio and Gertie Melara led the about 100 participants in some of ILCO’s favorite songs. Meanwhile, ILCO’s multipurpose room was converted into an artistic space for the anniversary, with photo and craft displays representing each community of faith.

Later, Espinoza invited congregants to participate in cooperative games, led by the Soccer for Life foundation. The balance and partner games promoted sharing, teamwork and solidarity.

In the afternoon, participants met again to share songs and anecdotes culled over many years together. Bishop Jiménez recognized many leaders who have strengthened the church over the years.

Those present also looked toward the church’s future. In small groups, they discussed topics articulated by the General Assembly as key to the church’s growth.

“What is reflected in these (topics) is the work of the church of the next six years,” Jiménez said. “The path is dictated by them and will be the strategy of our work together. They’ll be practiced in the communities and in the national church, and as Lutherans, our mission is to see them realized. We all take part in this effort.”

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