Indonesian Longest Lutheran Lunch

By Kendrea Rhodes

If I said chilli, lemongrass, ginger and rice, would you think of unity? If I said coriander, garlic, chicken curry and noodle soup, would you think of reformation? If I said beef rendang, Sumatran chicken curry, mie goreng or nasi goreng, would you think of Indonesia? If I said bread and wine, the body and […]

If I said chilli, lemongrass, ginger and rice, would you think of unity? If I said coriander, garlic, chicken curry and noodle soup, would you think of reformation? If I said beef rendang, Sumatran chicken curry, mie goreng or nasi goreng, would you think of Indonesia? If I said bread and wine, the body and blood of Jesus – would you think of Holy Communion?

Each and every one of these elements is literally food for thought and plays a part in bringing the twelve Indonesian Lutheran Churches together – all in the hope that one day, for the good of the gospel and the people of Indonesia, the twelve will become one.

Rev. Neville Otto, LCA’s Mission Director, attended an historic occasion in which, for the first time ever, the twelve Bishops from each of those churches, gathered together for a Reformation celebration lunch and to bring God’s grace to a congregation of almost 1000 people in Northern Sumatra. Lunch began in the home of Bishop Sitorus, Huria Kristen Indonesia (HKI) church, and concluded at the home of Bishop Saragih, Gereja Kristen Protestan Simalungun (HKPI) church.

The hospitality for body and soul included famous Indonesian dishes such as the aforementioned beef rendang and Sumatran chicken curry; while the nourishing of the soul began with Grace, and discussions of unity and friendship. “… the Spirit was working powerfully … to bring Jesus and his good news to all”, said Rev. Otto.

The service began at Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP) church, in the city of Pematangsiantar. The building was overflowing with worshippers AND bishops for this important Lutheran occasion. The Lutheran Reformation service, led by Bishop Willem Simarmata, was not only a celebration of reformation past, but reformation present and future, as words of creating one Indonesian Lutheran church were well received.

Due to the high attendance, outdoor seating and a huge screen were set up for those who couldn’t fit into the church, with half of the Bishops serving Holy Communion inside and half serving outside. A wonderful way to celebrate unity, for this was not a congregation divided, but one united for the first time in history. Rev. Otto said of their celebrations,  “this Long Lutheran Lunch led to a wonderful Long Lutheran Communion and we pray it is leading to a Long Lutheran witness … [in Indonesia]“.


Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray

Read more stories about our partner churches in Indonesia at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/indonesia/

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