Lectionary Selection: Luke 4:14-21
Prayers for Germany:
Lord, our brother Jesus was rejected by the people who thought they knew him best – his hometown folk. They couldn’t believe that one of their own could have anything of worth to say to this tiny village. Freedom from poverty, oppression, illness? What nonsense; what audacity. Seventy-four years ago, you called Germany, decimated by the moral atrocity of the Holocaust, back into life. Clear-headed leaders, former enemies, came together to create a democracy with a socially just mandate. Now, though only a fraction of the size of the United States, Germany’s just society is unraveling as increasingly fewer people take over the resources of the land. Fear of and hatred for the stranger is on the rise. The numbers of children and elderly living in poverty increase yearly. We call on you, God, to help this nation restore its mandate of justice for all. Help us to take seriously our responsibility for each other’s welfare, knowing that in you, there are no national borders; that we are all one in your eyes. Help us, as US citizens and witnesses to the same ills in our own land, to be sisters and brothers together in the work of creating a just world for all; help us to be servants in building up the kingdom of heaven on earth.
A statement issued by Bishop Annette Kurschus, Prases of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia and the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ
Sept. 5, 2018Read more
We publish here below, the speech given by Paolo Naso on July 8 from Radio1 Rai for the column "Essere chiesa insieme" of the broadcast Culto Evangelico. Mr. Naso is the coordinator of the Mediterranean Hope - Programme for refugees and migrants by the FCEI. [Dr. Naso is also a member of the Common Global Ministries Board of Directors, representing the Europe region and partners.]Read more
Springtime greetings on this cold and cloudy first of February here in the Rheingau! And yes, we do feel like spring has sprung – at least for our tiny congregation. Little more than 2 months ago, it was still unclear whether we would be allowed to continue into 2018: our 3-year “test phase” was coming to an end and our congregation had been given the task of raising 15,000 Euros to cover the majority of costs for the 2018 operating costs. One might think that such a sum would be easy in the wealthiest country in Europe, but this is a country where church tax has been in place since 1830. If you check the box ‘Protestant,’ or ‘Catholic’ or ‘Jewish’ on your employment form, the equivalent of 8% of your federal tax is taken from your paycheck and given to the national administration of your faith. So, the old phrase, “I gave at the office,” is a reality here. Weekly offerings are generally a bit of small change. Annual pledging is practically unheard of.Read more
By Stephen Brown
A group of German ecumenical activists including former World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Konrad Raiser has criticised the German government for its failure to support the United Nations treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.Read more
Increasingly, more cultures and people from around the world have made their home in Germany, especially in the diverse Rhine-Main-Area. Local German congregations tend to retain their traditional forms of worship and gatherings amidst a modern era of rapid change.Read more
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or well-born when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose the low-born, the things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” - 1 Corinthians 1:26-31Read more
Church and political leaders have marked the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation in Wittenberg, Germany where on 31 October 1517 he published his 95 Theses denouncing church abuses.Read more
500 years ago this October 31, Martin Luther posted his “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” also known as his infamous 95 Theses, to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church in Germany. Objecting primarily to the sale of the remission of sin by the Catholic Church, and the use of those funds, the consequences of Luther’s act led to a major strand of the Protestant Reformation.