Reflections from a Wittenberg Coffee House-Christians Coming Together

Each day expands my horizons a bit more.  I have joined the Gospel Choir of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany that is under the direction of Kantor Thomas Herzer.  The group is recently back from singing in Pennsylvania and Brooklyn and I feel really honored to be invited to sing with them.  The first rehearsal that I attThe Castle Church in Wittenberg Germanyended was held yesterday (Saturday) and today I was able to join them in singing for a church service.  The choir members have been very welcoming.


The story of today is so interesting.  One of the members of the choir is a member of the Baptist Church in Wittenberg.  Saturday, he was married in the Russian Orthodox Church located in another city.  Today, the marriage was being blessed by the Baptist Church and since he is a member of the Gospel Choir it was only logical that the Gospel Choir sing at the service.  Also singing at the service was the choir from the Town Church.  The place was packed.  Never thought I would see the day that I was singing in a choir from the Wittenberg Castle Church in a Baptist congregation.


The pastor preached on 1 Corinthians 13 and used the themes of Peace, Hope and Love in describing the Christian journey.  That’s about all I know from the sermon.  I have filled in the rest.  He must have been funny, though, because the congregation laughed periodically.  The congregational hymns for the day were:  “Now Thank We All Our God,”  “Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet,” and “Shine, Jesus Shine.”  Fun.

The Baptist Church is a Freikirche (free church) which means it is fully independent and receives no tax dollars for support.  The ministry of the congregation is fully supported by the members.

What I loved about today was the fact that Christians from all different backgrounds came to praise God and to support a brother and sister in Christ.  It is my prayer that this can happen on a larger scale and that we quit focusing upon what divides us rather than what unites us.

Tonight I am having dinner with Robin McAvoy, now living in Arizona, who is in Germany on a mission tour.  Robin graduated from CSP (don’t remember when) and she and her family have a traveling ministry.  It will be good to see her.

Tomorrow I catch an early train to Berlin where I will meet Diane Greve at the train station and we will take the train out to Spandau to take part in the DIAKONIA Conference with hundreds of diaconal ministers from around the world.  Ben Emma, a member of our Community of Lutheran Deacons, is also flying in and will be my room mate for the week.  The conference theme is Healing and Wholeness.  Should be a good week.  I think there are over 40 from the LDA planning to be in attendance and over 400 from around the world.

More to come…………….

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