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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Plan for new congregations in NW Germany


Plans continue for new congregations to be planted in Northwest Germany. The project has been spearheaded by the Area Dean of Germany, the Revd Canon Ken Dimmick.

Fr Dimmick reports on a recent meeting to further this development, held at the home of Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe, the Venerable Colin Williams:
"Our big dream is for the development of quite a number of smaller worship communities, similar to house churches, ....perhaps focused on lay-led Bible Study.  From time to time we see these house groups gathering with other house groups for a more liturgical worship service, and when  priest is available, for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist."
Fr Ken intends that local worship leaders be trained to lead services of the word, between priestly visits. He appeals to the 10 or so Anglican priests in Germany to assist, perhaps coming once or twice a year to spend a couple of days, visiting and celebrating the Eucharist.

An "executive committee" for the area mission is made up of the Archdeacon, the Area Dean, Mr. John Batty, and Army Chaplain Richard Downes. A good core of the new congregations will be the number of persons attached to the British military community who will be staying on in Germany after the British Forces are fully withdrawn.
"The area is vast and the sheep may be scattered", says Fr Ken, "but we are hoping to develop groups in these towns and cities:  Bremen, Osnabrueck, Muenster, Dortmund, Bielefeld, Hameln, Paderborn, Hannover, Braunschweig/Wolfsburg, Detmold, Guetersloh, Luebbecke, Bergen-Belsen, Goettingen, and Kassel. We do not yet have contact people in each of these towns, but they all seem like possible places for the building up of an English language worship community.  Time and growth will show in the long run where congregations might be viable.  We, at this point, are only scattering the seeds.  May God give the growth."
Fr Ken wrote to the clergy in Germany whom he is inviting to assist in the years to come,
"You may want to think of yourselves as "Methodist Circuit riders" in the wild west, or like the itinerant Celtic missionaries of St. Columba.  May the examples of Boniface, Willibrord, Kilian, and all those who have done similar things in ages past, surround and encourage us."
Fr Ken leaves Germany shortly as he is taking his retirement, He intends to continue active connection to this mission project, however. We join with him and the executive committee in praying for the Holy Spirit's guidance, strength and direction.

Fr Ken Dimmick in his own parish of St Catherine's Stuttgart

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