Educators and leaders from around the world involved with Protestant education who have attended events run by Global Pedagogical Network – Joining in Reformation (GPENreformation) are already familiar with the value of gathering together. Nothing can replace the fellowship of Christians coming together to worship, learn, plan, laugh, and celebrate the common mission of education and God’s calling. Many of us have enjoyed such company in Germany, The Netherlands, Rwanda, and Tanzania already, but there are many other events that take place around the work which also unite Christian educators.
Lutheran Education Association (LEA) is a member-based professional organization which “links, equips, and affirms educators and workers in ministry for the purpose of building up the body of Christ.” We are driven by our vision: “As blessed by God, Lutheran Education Association is the global collaborative community of choice, welcoming all educators and workers in ministry.” In its 77-year history since its founding in 1942, LEA has supported educators involved with Lutheran education in many ways, including publications, events, networking, and advocacy. In the recent decade, we have placed a high priority on global connectedness and collaboration.
Building on the need to bring together educators as often as possible, LEA has always created events that meet both general and specific needs of educators at all levels. Administrator conferences are held every year. Since 1984, LEA has planned a much larger event to run every three years that has averaged some 3.000 attendees. Calling this a “Convocation” allows us to create a theme and plan an event that incorporates a number of unique features. It is NOT a business conference or delegate convention, but a gathering of educators and partners in ministry to grow professionally, socially, and spiritually with each other and in Christ.
The thirteenth triennial Convocation took place October 10-12, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. It drew over 2.700 individuals from 34 of the states in the USA and from 9 other countries. Under the theme “Opening Eyes, Minds, and Hearts”, the event included five plenary sessions which featured keynote speakers, entertainment, worship, meals, and fellowship; 208 sectional workshops; an exhibit hall of 117 vendors; and many activities to draw people together. Prior to the Convocation, LEA also hosted its one-day Global Symposium, which included 60 individuals from around the world, including fellow GPENreformation members Birgit Sendler-Koschel from Germany and Miguel Fernandez from Argentina. Together we all learned about the exciting activities taking place on each continent and how we can continue to work together globally.
It would be impossible to completely re-create the experience of the LEA Convocation, but a short video is available to watch which will give you an idea of what took place. All readers are encouraged to follow more post-Convocation coverage by connecting to the Convocation web site. LEA intends to make certain resources from the Convocation available publically through our web site and through GPENreformation communication.
Finally, ALL educators are encouraged to join a network that LEA operates called the Global Lutheran Educator Network (GLEnet). Though initiated by Lutheran educators, anyone who shares in the mission of Christian education is welcome to participate in this FREE connection with educators around the world. Simply sign up at this location. (Educators and leaders are encouraged to first become GPENreformation members and then to use GLEnet as a supplemental resource.)
The next LEA Convocation is scheduled for fall of 2022. The exact dates and location are yet to be determined. YOU are invited to consider coming to the United States to join us. We will also be making plans to make portions of the event available to you in your location through technology.
It is exciting to anticipate all the ways in which God will continue to unite us throughout the world as we carry out His Great Commission to the ends of the earth!