“I’m full of joy, redeemed, set free” is the slogan being used by the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. It is taken from the opening lines of a psalm-poem by the Rhineland cabaret artist and writer Hanns Dieter Hüsch (1925-2005).

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Worldwide Ecumenism

The United Evangelical Mission (UEM)

The “Vereinte Evangelische Mission” (VEM) developed into an international mission fellowship during the years from 1978 to 1996, and since then has continued to grow closer together as a praying, learning and serving community of equal partners. Its roots go back to the work of the Rhineland Mission (1828) and the Bethel Mission (1886). 

The UEM consists of twelve churches in Africa, fifteen churches in Asia, as well as six churches in Germany, along with the Bodelschwingh Bethel Foundation. The UEM initiates and co-ordinates regional programmes. Topics covered include: evangelisation, city mission, work with women, children and young people, ecumenical social work including emergency relief, the Conciliar Process, ecumenical learning, gender justice, interreligious dialogue, partnerships, as well as working together with migrant congregations. The office of the UEM is based in Wuppertal.

One of the member churches is the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland (EKiR). It is one of the main pillars of the UEM in terms of offering financial, personnel and conceptual support. Through the UEM the members offer experience, staff members and financial help. More precisely:

  • Diaconal social work and education: Germans work in Africa and Asia. A counter-flow of people work over here in German congregations as parish assistants and as ministers, or offering service in the wider region and in the UEM.
  • South-South exchange: member churches in Africa and Asia increasingly exchange personnel. The idea is to overcome the dominating influence of money and technology from the North.
  • Human rights: educational programmes along with lobbying and advocacy work for justice, peace and the integrity of creation form another focus of the work. 

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ekir.de / 12.01.2017

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