The oversight of LCA Bible translation work, including that by Hanna Schulz in Papua New Guinea and Margaret Mickan in the Northern Territory, has changed.
Lutheran Bible Translators Australia (LBTA), which has overseen the promotion of Bible translation and literacy work within the LCA for 35 years, has been wound up in its current form by the LCA’s General Church Council.
The work of translation of the Scriptures by Lutheran Bible translators will continue. However, now, rather than serving as dual members of LBTA and Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia (WBTA), the translators will transition to a single membership with WBTA. Within the LCA, the support of their work comes under the Committee for International Mission, which will explore further possible means of accompaniment during their service.
The winding up of LBTA came after a review commissioned by the Committee for International Mission, which has had oversight of its work, LCA Secretary Pastor Neville Otto said. ‘The church remains committed to the critical work of Bible translation and will continue to ensure our Lutheran translators receive the support they need’, Pastor Otto said. ‘We thank God for the dedicated work of all who served on LBTA and particularly for the faithful leadership of the chair for many years, Dr Tim Fischer.’
LCA Assistant to the Bishop – International Mission Glenice Hartwich said she was confident WBTA would continue to provide Hannah and Margaret with a high level of professional support.
The process for providing ongoing financial support to Lutheran Bible translators would be modified slightly and supporters would be notified of changes once the next stage of the transition was in place, Mrs Hartwich said.
Outgoing LBTA chair and long-time committee member Dr Fischer said in a letter to the editor (The Lutheran, Your Voice, page 27) LBTA had had ‘a commendable input over the past 35 years to the huge task of translating God’s word into the heart language of the reader’.