Wed, Jul 17, 2013
The Rev. Dr. Christopher S. Ahlman assists with Communion for the first time in the German language. The celebrant is Rev. Markus Fischer from LCMS partner church body the SELK.
On Sunday, 30 June 2013, Rev. Dr. Christopher S. Ahlman, Strategic Mission Developer for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, assisted with Holy Communion in the German language for the first time. Dr. Ahlman deployed to Leipzig, Germany on April 3, 2013. His first priority is to attain a preaching proficiency in German so that he may better assist the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK), our partner church body in Germany, with a church plant and outreach to the greater Leipzig population, especially centered in the district of Volkmarsdorf. To that end, Dr. Ahlman is working with Pastor Markus Fischer, the SELK pastor of Sankt Trinitatisgemeinde in Leipzig. The Hauptgottesdienst (Main Divine Service) on Sunday, June 30, was Dr. Ahlman’s first time assisting with any part of the German service. He memorized the distribution formulae in German in order to assist with the service.
Of the privilege of serving the Lord’s people in this way, Dr. Ahlman says, “I immediately found assisting with Holy Communion here to be a surreal privilege, given that many German Lutherans in the nineteenth century risked their social standing and livelihoods to proclaim and hear the very distribution formulae I spoke.”
Furthermore, having memorized the distribution formulae and studied its words and meanings, Dr. Ahlman was able to witness to a neighbor concerning the gift of the Sacrament of the Altar, as well as the possibility of Baptism for this currently unbaptized person, during a simple conversation about why he is now living in Leipzig. In the future, God-willing, language instruction and further familiarity with the German service will provide more opportunities for witness using the language of the church — auf Deutsch.
As time goes on, Dr. Ahlman will also be able to assist with more parts of the service, eventually being able to lead a full service by himself. His language preparation will culminate in the ability to preach in German. This will allow Dr. Ahlman to speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ directly to the lost and needy in Leipzig. For now, Dr. Ahlman will rotate between assisting with Holy Communion and playing the organ for services (his Doctoral degree is in Organ Performance) while focusing on language acquisition and beginning work on his other role as Area Music Program Coordinator. In the near future, Dr. Ahlman will assist with several musical projects in Leipzig designed to proclaim the Gospel.
- Pray for Dr. Ahlman as he continues his language studies.
- Pray that the people of the Volkmarsdorf region of Leipzig and beyond would be open to the Gospel.
- To learn more about Rev. Dr. Ahlman’s work, click here.
- To see a video about Dr. Ahlman’s role as Area Music Program Coordinator, you can go here.
- To learn more about our partner church body, the SELK, you can click here. If you are using Google Chrome, you can set the page to translate it into English.