The staff and Kirchen Vorstand (essentially the Elders) of St. Trinitatisgemeinde, Leipzig, has chosen a central theme for the coming year. St. Trinitatisgemeinde is a congregation of the Selbständige Evangelische Lutherische Kirche (SELK), the partner church body of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Germany. This theme will help to focus the efforts by the congregation and Die Brücke as they continue to work to reach the lost in Volkmarsdorf and greater Leipzig, and as they work toward exclusive use of the historic Lukaskirche.
The theme for the year 2014 will be “Ihr seid ein Brief Christi” (2 Kor. 3.3). That is, “You are a letter of Christ” from 2 Corinthians 3:3). In this passage, Paul speaks of his travels and is writing this letter from himself and Timothy. He says:
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts (2 Corinthians 3:1–3).
The hope is that the theme will invigorate the congregation in its outreach efforts, but also show them that this is who they already are in Christ! They are already a letter from Christ by virtue of their Baptisms into His saving name. All that they are and all that they do testifies to His saving grace. Several seminars will be offered around the chosen theme throughout the beginning of 2014. The first and last seminars will be held in Lukaskirche, while the intervening three will be held in the fellowship room in the congregational house of St. Trinitatisgemeinde. The schedule is as follows:
- February 16, in Lukaskirche, following the Divine Service. This seminar will introduce the theme, and a festival with a meal is also planned.
- April 27, at St. Trinitatisgemeinde following the Divine Service. The seminar for this week is “Gott ist Autor” (God is the author).
- May 25, at St. Trinitatisgemeinde following the Divine Service. The seminar is “Wir ein Brief?” (“We are a letter?”) with guest speaker Pastor Horst Neumann, who is the former German Lutheran Hour Speaker.
- August 31, at St. Trinitatisgemeinde following the Divine Service. The seminar is “Briefe sind zum Lesen, oder?” (“A letter is for reading, or…?”).
- October 19, at Lukaskirche following the Divine Service, a final festival will be held in celebration of the theme.
On January 5th, 2014, some of the staff of Die Brücke and St. Trinitatisgemeinde gathered for a prayer meeting. The meeting asked God to bless the initiative and all of those involved. In attendance were Rev. Markus Fischer, pastor of St. Trinitatisgemeinde; Rev. Hugo Gevers, the missionary to the migrants and the people of Volkmarsdorf; Vicar Thomas Beneke, the SELK vicar for the migrant mission; Rev. Dr. Christopher Ahlman, the LCMS missionary serving as Assistant Pastor of St. Trinitatisgemeinde for the church plant; and Georg Mogwitz, the Cantor for SELK District Ost (Eastern District) and one of the organists at St. Trinitatisgemeinde. The meeting opened with a devotion from Rev. Gevers, and then the attendants spent time praying and discussing the theme and events.
- Please pray for this year’s theme, that it would be a successful initiative in the congregation.
- Here is the poster created by Rick Steenbock, Communications and Projects Manager for Eurasia: POSTER Final (1)
- Please pray for each of the individual events, that many would attend the services and seminars from the community.
- Pray for Rev. Gevers, Rev. Fischer, Vicar Beneke, and Rev. Ahlman as they lead the congregation forward in service to greater Leipzig and in the move to Lukaskirche.
- To support LCMS missionary Rev. Dr. Ahlman, please visit his online giving page.