German Methodism: A strong Christian voice

A statue of Saint John of Nepomuk looks out over the Main River in the historic Höchst district of Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

A statue of Saint John of Nepomuk looks out over the Main River in the historic Höchst district of Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

The 51,000 member United Methodist Church in Germany may be a minority church, but it’s a vital church, says Bishop Harald Rückert.

“We have to be realistic and there is no recipe. I try to emphasize that in some places we have good resources, some places we have money, some places we have good people. We have to bring them together,” Rűckert said.

The bishop said he urges the churches to try new things and if that fails, try something else. The denomination has taken that advice to heart — reaching out to a huge influx of immigrants as well as finding ways to reach the unchurched in an increasingly secular society.

“The task is how can we together have a strong Christian voice in our society.”

Read the UMNS special report about The United Methodist Church in Germany.
 

The Rev. Heike Miller (right) visits with Dieter Kugelmann outside the United Methodist Church in Lorsbach, Germany, during Café Gegenüber, a weekly gathering for coffee, cake and conversation. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. Tiny church vital center for community
 A tiny 12-member United Methodist church is making a mark as a social
 center in the community while raising money for a life-changing  
 education program in Ghana.

 

Selma (left) and Arthur Härtel carry the lantern to lead the way for children's church at the United Methodist Church of the Redeemer in Munich, Germany. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. Thriving Munich church fills new building
 A thriving United Methodist Church in Munich, Germany, is filling a
 brand-new building with children’s programs and activities that bring 
 500 to 600 people to the church each week.

 

 

 

 

Parishioners sing during worship at the United Methodist Church of the Redeemer in Munich, Germany. From left are Jula Carlsen and Daniel  and Carina Kuß. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. Vitality takes many forms in German churches
 Churches in Germany are providing sanctuary, classes and programs — 
 outreach benefiting the churches, not just refugees and migrants.


 

Sisters Lilly Groß (left) and Rose Häußermann enjoy lunch together at their retirement home attached to the United Methodist headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. Deaconesses reflect on lives of service
 Violence and poverty threatens to drown the communities and consume families.

 

 

Harriett Olson helps lead the 150th anniversary celebration for United Methodist Women during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Olson is the chief executive of United Methodist Women. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

 Sidebar story: Deaconesses, home missioners now an order 
 Deaconesses and home missioners are an active order of lay people called to love, 
 justice and service in U.S., Philippines.


 

Volunteer Hannah Guzinski helps serve a meal to immigrant children in an educational enrichment program at the United Methodist Peace Church in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. Refugees find community with United Methodists
 Churches in Germany are providing sanctuary, classes and programs — outreach
 benefiting the churches, not just refugees and migrants.

 

The Rev. Susanne Nießner-Brose (right) listens while a 27-year-old Sudanese woman who asked that she be called Fatima relates her story of fleeing Sudan to seek religious freedom in Europe. She  is taking asylum at the United Methodist Church of the Redeemer in Bremen, Germany, where Nießner-Brose is pastor. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. Bremen church embraces refugees, migrants
 A United Methodist church in Bremen, Germany, that welcomed refugees and   migrants has found blessing and new life through the work.

 

Choir member Juliana Amoah prays during worship at Calvary United Methodist Church, a Ghanaian congregation in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. Migrant churches provide piece of home
 Immigrants want their own churches with familiar language and worship, but the   second generation may not speak the language and likely identifies more with   German society.
 

The Rev. Chi My Nguyen (left) visits with parishioner Nguyen Trung Dung at his sushi restaurant in Frankfurt, Germany. Nguyen is the only Vietnamese United Methodist pastor in Germany, serving a church of about 40 immigrants in Frankfurt. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. Sidebar story: Journey to pulpit began in peril
 Read the moving story of Nguyen’s journey from the Reutlingen School of Theology
 to his first church outside Frankfurt.

 

Video image United Methodist Communications.

 Video: German Churches Welcome Migrants
 Nearly 500 United Methodist congregations in Germany have reached out to displaced
 peoples."We were neighbors to the new neighbors, helping them to find their place here."

 

Video image by United Methodist Communications.

Video: United Methodists in Germany Welcome Refugees
 A United Methodist pastor in southern Germany describes the impact that thousands
 of refugees have had on his community.


 

German Methodism: A strong Christian voice. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Cyclists make their way along the Main River in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

 

Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Mission and Ministry
Baldwin Israel Avendaño, pastor of Calexico (Calif.) United Methodist Church, describes the two possible routes for buses carrying recently released immigration detainees in Calexico. A right turn onto Paulin Avenue means the migrants will be released into the U.S. while they wait for an immigration hearing. A left turn means they will be deported. Avendaño regularly meets the buses coming from the nearby Imperial Regional Detention Facility to offer help contacting friends and family and to provide travel kits containing food, clothing and snacks for the migrants’ journeys. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

2021: The year in photos

Amid challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainties about the future of the denomination, United Methodists continued to live out their faith and serve their communities in 2021. Photographers from UM News documented a year in the life of the church worldwide.
Social Concerns
The Rev. Joel Hortiales (left) prays with Carlos Ivan Baran Hidalgo; his wife, Danelly Mazariegos Morales; and their 3-year-old daughter, Scarlett Juliette, at the Camino de Salvación shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. The family fled violence in Guatemala and is hoping to pursue a claim for asylum in the U.S. Hortiales is a United Methodist missionary and serves as director of Hispanic/Latino ministries and border concerns for the California-Pacific Conference. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Photo essay: ‘I was a stranger…’

In September, a UM News team accompanied faith leaders from the United Methodist Church and the Methodist Church of Mexico on visits to migrant communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. See how the church is ministering to those in need through the eyes of photojournalist Mike DuBose.
General Church
The Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, speaks about the pandemic and the proposed denominational split during an interview at United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tenn. The church will host 2021 Leadership Institute on Sept. 29-Oct. 1 with a focus on helping pastors and laity address divisions in their communities. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Adam Hamilton: Leading in polarized times

Ahead of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection’s 2021 Leadership Institute, UM News spoke to the Rev. Adam Hamilton about the pandemic and proposed denominational split.