2014 UEK report from Central Atlantic Conference
It has been a good year for the partnership between the EKM (Evangelische Kirche in Mitteldeutschland) and the Central Atlantic Conference. In the last year we have expanded and strengthened our joint ministries. The office in Magdeburg has been in transition for the past two years following the departure of the EKM director of ecumenical relations.
It has been a good year for the partnership between the EKM (Evangelische Kirche in Mitteldeutschland) and the Central Atlantic Conference. In the last year we have expanded and strengthened our joint ministries. The office in Magdeburg has been in transition for the past two years following the departure of the EKM director of ecumenical relations. The interim director was unsure about making long term plans as interim. Last fall, the interim was named as permanent and new plan are underway to expand and strengthen our relationship.
I attended the UEK forum in September of last year and spent time with those who work with all the various partnership conferences in the UCC.
A group from the CAC went to Wittenberg last fall to attend a conference on Environmental Justice Issues sponsored by the EKM and included other partnership members from Poland, Slovakia, Norway and England. That group is meeting again this May for a second round of workshops in Slovakia.
The CAC and the EKM will be conducting an exchange program for Church leaders from our respective adjudicatories to examine the various ways we relate to culture and how local churches relate to the wider church settings. It will begin in 2015 with a group from the EKM coming to Maryland for about 10 days and then with a group from the CAC going to Germany in 2016.
There I also discussion of a peace trip being planned to include the EKM, CAC and a partnership diocese from England. We will include 6-8 people from each church body and study peace and justice in Palestine and Israel. Our conference Minister is going to Germany in May 2014 to further this discussion and strengthen the partnership by spending time with the Bishop. He will also participate in an ordination ceremony while there.
A youth exchange was held in 2014 between Evangelical and Reformed UCC and a church in the EKM. Youth from the US travelled to Germany, stayed with host families and participated in various service and outreach projects for one week.
Our biggest event in the works is the 2017 General Synod which will be held in Baltimore. We are still figuring out how much of a role the conference will play in the planning of this event. As 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and Wittenberg is in the EKM, it seems like a fitting time and place to celebrate our German and Reformed/Lutheran heritage. While no firm plans have yet been made, contact has been made with the Bishop of the EKM and the Probst of Wittenberg to schedule a visit to the US during General Synod in anticipation of a celebration at either the annual meeting, the general synod or (hopefully) both.