German partner churches publishes book on apartheid, celebrates much on the first Sunday in Advent

Fri, Dec 7, 2012

Countries, Germany, News

This post contains news shared from the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany (SELK). The LCMS partners with the SELK, the Lutheran Church Mission (LKM) and their seminary in Oberursel, Germany in many ways. 

Dies Academicus in Oberursel, Germany

Dr. Werner Klän (left) listens to a speaker from the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa during the 2011 Dies Academicus event at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, in Oberursel, Germany.

SELK publishes book on Lutheran churches and the apartheid
“Working to overcome the past: Mission and Apartheid” is the theme of newly produced book written by two professors, Dr. Werner Klän and Dr. Gilberto da Silva, at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Oberursel. The book “Mission and Apartheid, an inescapable legacy and its treatment by Lutheran Churches in Southern Africa” contains eight articles on the topic and new analysis from the authors. They analyzed an outstanding aspect of the joint mission and ecclesiastical history of the confessional Lutheran churches in South Africa from different perspectives: historical, systematic theology and missions scholarship. The articles were from a symposium held in November 2011 which was organized by the seminary, led by the two editors, and was in collaboration with the Lutheran Church Mission (LKM). The speakers wrote as eyewitnesses, participants, victims, outsiders and their progeny and originated from South Africa, the USA and Germany.

The invitation to the symposium was accepted by many people who had experienced the time of Apartheid during visits or professional activities in southern Africa. Their memories and discussions, in addition to the presentations, were an important impetus for the foundation of an inter-church group “Vergangenheitsbewältigung” (“Overcoming the Past”) with representatives from the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA), the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA) and the SELK. The document formalized at the initial meeting of the investigatory group on March 19, 2012 has been printed in the appendix of the book. The bishops of the three participating churches, Dr. Dieter Reinstorf (Pietermaritzburg), Hans-Jörg Voigt (Hanover) and Dr. Wilhelm Weber (Pretoria) wrote in the foreword of the book: “We see now in these initiated conversations the possibility of a genuine reconciliation, where liability is known and forgiveness granted and received, and a common way forward is possible.”

The book is meant to be multi-lingual and read beyond Germany. In order to facilitate reception of this book in English-speaking communities, the basic articles are printed in the original language, either German or English, with a summary in the other language. The book is available in hardcover or as an eBook.

Christ Church in Molzen, Germany

This Lutheran church in Molzen, Germany, recently celebrated its 125-year anniversary.

125-year Anniversary Celebration in Molzen
The Christ Church of the SELK in Molzen, Germany celebrated their 125-year anniversary with concerts and events on the first Sunday of Advent. A small commemorative publication provided information on the origins and perspectives of the community. The festival service was led by Rev. Johannes Rehr, who also delivered the sermon. Following the service, there was a jubilee event with a community lunch.

Church Anniversary in Aumenau
On the first Sunday of Advent, a SELK church, Zionsgemeinde, in Steeden, Germany, celebrated the 60th anniversary of the return of worship sevices there. They held a festival worship service in honor of the anniversary. Parish pastor, Rev. Stefan Dittmer led worship while Rev. Manfred Weingarten, a pastor who retired from the Aumenauer chapel, delivered the sermon. The festival worship service included the church’s choirs and was followed by a celebration.

  • Pray for the SELK, the Lutheran Theological Seminary and the LKM this Advent season, both the work they do and the reasons they have to celebrate.
  • Read more about the work of the LCMS in Germany.

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