GENEVA - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has sent a message of condolence to the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELC) Abroad following the death of Archbishop Udo Petersoo in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He died on 14 May, aged 72.
In a letter addressed to the Toronto-based EELC, LWF General Secretary, Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko described Petersoo as a partner in the joint LWF work, who understood the depth of the meaning of a communion of churches in view of the church's close working relationship with sister churches in Europe. "Working with the community of believers in North America as archbishop, he brought a strong sense of history and tradition to the culture," he said.
Noko paid tribute to Petersoo's strong commitment to the gospel during his tenure as archbishop. "As a leader in the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad, he exhibited a strong faith and a love of God's people. Many have been blessed by his service," the LWF general secretary noted.
Petersoo was born in 1934 in Tallinn, Estonia. A graduate of the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, he was ordained in 1975. Prior to his September 1990 election as EELC-Abroad Archbishop, he was dean of Canada and pastor of Toronto's St Andrew's congregation.
Archbishop Udo Petersoo is survived by his wife, Reet Petersoo, three children and one grandchild. The funeral service will be held on 27 May at St Andrew's Estonian Lutheran Church in Toronto.
The EELC currently has around 6,600 members. It joined the LWF in 1947.