Ecumenical encounter: visit to the District of Düsseldorf-Mettmann from their partner church in the Congo.
A living community across the whole world
The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland has links with fellow believers
across the whole world at all levels of the church - local, district and
regional. There are partner
congregations and partner churches in Africa, Asia, as well as one in the USA.
These partnerships – whether local, district or
regional – are a living community. They
offer an opportunity for ecumenical learning about development policy and
intercultural issues. One of the things
that binds us together is taking common action in campaigns and projects, for
example in workcamps for young people. The promoting of partnerships is also an
important instrument for strengthening a church-based movement against
authoritarian and corrupt church leaderships.
The ecumenical department of the Regional Church
office provides support for these partnership links. Just a few examples: co-operation in seminars organised by the Ecumenical
Workshop, advising local committees responsible for partnerships and also
district executive groups, participating in international partnership
consultations, advising on the available facilities, organisation and work
programmes of partner churches, and finally advice for partnership groups about
churches in Africa
Rhineland Church is in contact with 13 partner churches in Africa,
concentrating on those which are members of the United Evangelical Mission (VEM). There are particularly strong links with
churches in Namibia. As a result, in 1990 the EKiR entered into a special
agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN).
is a historical background to the relationships with churches in Africa, which
grew out of the missionary activity of the Rhineland Missionary Society in the
19th century. In the present
time there are still missionaries who are particularly drawn to the task of
spreading the gospel in the former South West Africa (now Namibia) and
German missionaries founded mission stations which in the changing course of
history became independent churches and are now regarded as equal partners in
the international church community.
Partner churches in Asia
Asia it is also a case of the partner churches of the EKiR being members of the
VEM. The Rhineland Church is in contact
with fifteen partner churches, with a special relationship since 2004 to the
Hura Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP) in Indonesia.
historical background is similar to that of the churches in Africa. In Asia it was again the missionaries who
fulfilled their task by founding mission stations which sowed the seed for what
have now become independent churches.
United Church of Christ (UCC)
Through the Union of Evangelical Churches in Germany
(UEK), the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland (EKiR) has since the early
1980’s had church fellowship with the United Church of Christ (UCC) in the USA.
The UCC sees itself as a “Just Peace Church”,
standing for a multilateral understanding of democracy, for the overcoming of
racism and the abolition of the death penalty. The EKiR shares with its partner
church a concern for confronting these issues.
Specific partnerships – now established in written
partnership agreements – exist with the Penn Central Conference (PCC) in
Pennsylvania, with the Southern Conference (SOC) in North Carolina and South
East Virginia, and with the Wisconsin Conference (WC).
Ways of working together include special internships
for ministers in training, ministerial exchanges, lecture courses and
conferences. An example is a two week
programme for a visit by ministers, teachers and legal advisers from the SOC in
May 2007 and in April 2012, a course in pastoral studies in the Wisconsin
Conference in October 2012 and the Partner Peace Event of the Penn Centre
Conference in June 2013.
Other worldwide relationships
World Council of Churches
United Evangelical Mission
Other relationships around the world include Bread for the World, Kindertnothilfe (Help for Children in Need), World Communion of Reformed Churches and Lutheran World Federation.
ekir.de / photo: Anna Siggelkow /
© 2018, en.ekir.de
All rights reserved. Reproduction only with permission.