Message from the Bishops
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The UK’s Referendum on EU membership is one of the most significant political events of our time, for British people and for Europeans more generally. For some it is seen as an opportunity, for many others of us it has generated profound feelings of sadness, grief and shock. These feelings may exist within the membership of our chaplaincies and if so need to be recognised. We encourage you to talk to your clergy about what has happened, and to seek mutual support and understanding.
We know that many with British connections in our diocese are fearful and uncertain about the future. There are concerns about health care, pension rights, residence rights, employment rights. In fact none of these rights will change in the short to medium term. If the leaving process (‘Article 50’) is invoked by the UK Government this autumn then the arrangements for the UK’s future relationship with the EU are unlikely to be sorted until the end of 2018. And there are several alternative models for a new relationship. Those of us with influence can do what we can to keep the situation of those UK nationals who are relatively vulnerable in the public eye in forums such as General Synod and the House of Lords. Meanwhile we encourage an attitude of patience, wisdom and the avoidance of hasty decisions.
We have had English-speaking chaplaincies on the European mainland for over 400 years. That is not going to change, and the Church of England remains fully committed to this her Diocese in Europe. Our ecumenical partners have reacted with dismay to the UK’s referendum result. It is now more important than ever that we reassure our brother and sister Christians at a local level of our unwavering commitment to our partnership with them. We believe it is also right that our churches re-double their efforts to demonstrate the unity which transcends national and political boundaries, and their social commitment to the places and projects in which they are involved locally.
One of the least attractive features of the Referendum campaign has been the intolerance – racism even – that it has seemed to encourage. This is a worrying feature of contemporary Europe more generally. So we emphasise that our churches are open and inclusive places where all are welcome.
We exhort you all to pray. Pray for political leaders across Europe as they seek to maintain European cohesiveness. Pray that the UK may be a generous and outward looking country that contributes to human flourishing around the world. Pray also for church leaders that we may enable the Christian family to model that harmony and unity which is the vision of God’s kingdom, in the midst of a fractured world.
Faith is the powerful antidote to fear and uncertainty. As Christians, we believe in a God who holds the destiny of the nations in his hands. So at an uncertain time in Europe’s history, we pray for and invoke the providential guiding and leading of God in the hearts of us all and upon every nation.
Yours in Christ,
+Robert Gibraltar in Europe
Did you leave a salad bowl or silverware at the Church BBQ? Jackie has a few items that aren’t hers – please look at the pictures on the church website and let her know if they are yours. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday School through the summer
Last night the Sunday school teachers met to plan the next set of lessons. Knowing that the American school holidays are much earlier than the German ones our hope is that we can continue to run Sunday School each Sunday throughout the summer months. If you’re starting back at school in the middle of August when the German holidays are just getting going … then hopefully we’ll have a lesson for you. If you would like to sign up to teach a Sunday school lesson please speak to Susanna – email@example.com
Ladies’ Evening Group – our next meeting will be Monday 11th July, from 19:00 at Amadeus. Please let Anne know if you would like to join us. firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s Group At the last Coffee Morning there were unfortunately only three of us but we enjoyed tea, cake and a chat surrounded by several refugees searching through the clothes. We offered them tea and cake only to be told “Ramadan” so they couldn’t join us. As far as the dates for our Coffee Morning go, we do try and keep to the third Thursday in the month to make it easier for people to remember the date, so our next meeting is on Thursday, 21st July from 10 until 12 in the Anglican Centre. Renate regrets that she won’t be coming any more: at 94 (you wouldn’t think it!) she has to cut down on some of her activities, especially those outside her home. We will miss her – and her cakes! – but I have promised to keep in touch as I live quite near Sillenbuch so can pop in now and again. I look forward to seeing you on the 21st.
Dates for your diaries:
Sunday 7th August – Fellowship bring and share picnic at Killesberg.
Sunday 3rd September – Sunset viewing party at Bopser Teahouse
Can you help the refugee ministry? Gary is looking to expand the team of people helping supervise the distribution of goods to the Refugees in the Anglican Centre. If you can offer a couple of hours please contact Gary and let him know when you are available to help. email@example.com
Classic Rock meets Gospel: Many of you will know Jimmi Love on the Harlem Praise Family Choir. From 28th – 31st July, in the Friedrichsbau, they will be performing “Classic Rock meets Gospel”, a Music-Show featuring the “Harlem Praise Family”, the Stuttgart band “Risk” and singer David Hanselmann.