“The ecumenical movement is about encounter. And that’s what we do here in Bossey.” This, in a nutshell, is the mission of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey of the World Council of Churches according to Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon, Professor of Ecumenical Missiology. The recent visit to the Institute by a group of theologians from the Rhineland and Westphalia became a special time of encounter indeed.
The first-ever youth synod of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland concluded on 6 January in Bad Neuenahr with five resolutions for the regional synod beginning the next day. It proved a positive experience. The youth synod had given a “strong signal” for more participation by the younger generation, President Manfred Rekowski explained at the synod’s closing press conference.
It is a “premiere”, according to President Manfred Rekowski. For the first time in the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland there will be a youth synod. It is taking place on 4-6 January 2019. And what is exceptional is that half of its delegates will be youth and half will come from the regional synod.
In the Summer of 2017 Dr Christoph Zenses spent three weeks as a doctor on board the Sea-Watch rescue boat, and a year later he also got involved at the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos. These assignments pushed the doctor from Solingen to his limits. But he is planning to return there in 2019. From conviction.
In the beginning was the Word. The biblical Word. In this case, Psalm 139: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” And such was the title of a parish project in Wuppertal: “Wonderfully made. Seniors of Uellendahl photographed by Andrea Rompa.” Photographed in the nude.
Learning from each other and building peace: For 16 years the secondary schools Bodelschwingh-Gymnasium in Herchen and the Goethe School in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia have been cultivating a close partnership. School director Dr Judith Pschibille has been awarded the Medal of Friendship at the Mongolian Embassy in Berlin for her engagement.
The voice search trend. Using chatbots. Podcast tips. Developments in digital learning. Latest discussion about virtual church. WhatsApp features. Lots of topics, lots of sessions, lots of sunshine: BarCamp Church online in Cologne brought together hundreds of church onliners and digital specialists. A photo story
Church president and EKD migration expert Manfred Rekowski makes appeal in Malta to allow rescue ships to go to sea. He calls on governments and political leaders in Europe to stop breaking international law and criminalising civilian rescuers of persons in distress at sea.
Sometimes the sea rescuers have to make horrible decisions: keep resuscitating someone or keep saving more people from drowning? Sea Watch crew member and physician Barbara remembers a night she will never forget. Watch the video where she pledges to fight on for the right to rescue.
Sharp criticism of the charges against private rescue ships in the Mediterranean has come from Manfred Rekowski, president of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland and chair of the advisory commission on Migration and Integration of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).
“I absolutely want to get to know all sides of Israel,” says secondary-school graduate Paul Bochynek from Cologne. Together with other young adults, he is starting a term of voluntary service this summer in the Israeli peace village Nes Ammim. Spots are still open for other interested youth.
The situation in Syria is becoming ever more dramatic, especially in Eastern Ghouta, where people are starving and dying and medical care has collapsed. The Rhineland Church declares its solidarity with the victims of the civil war and President Manfred Rekowski has issued a call to prayer for the people of Syria.
The Rhineland Church has a commitment to Muslim-Christian dialogue and describes it as a “church task” which Christians need to acknowledge as bound up with their witness to Jesus Christ. This was affirmed by the Regional Synod in its theological position statement “On encounter with Muslims”.
On the occasion of the centenary of the end of the First World War, the Regional Synod has adopted a peace statement. This is to be discussed at all levels of the Rhineland Church, with the aim of becoming a ‘Just Peace Church’. It also includes demands for the removal of nuclear weapons and putting a stop to arms exports.
ekir.de / 08.12.2016