Thursday, 01. September 2022

EMS Anniversary Song Sparks Creativity Worldwide

Overwhelming response to ecumenical join-in campaign

Ecumenism is not only practiced at the WCC Assembly in Karlsruhe. The EMS song "Together We Are Free", composed especially for the 50th Anniversary of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS), has united and enthused people in Germany, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, China and Lebanon. A video with 17 different interpretations, which can now be viewed on the EMS website, demonstrates the impressive diversity of mission today.

Classical, funny, stimulating, surprising, touching and moving – all these adjectives can be used to describe the versions of the EMS Jubilee Song that have been sent to the EMS Secretariat in Stuttgart over the past few months. They include versions by a choir from Crailsheim (Germany), a South African brass band, Indian dancers, soloists, a tile-zoom version, children, students, adults and even a group of deaf people from Indonesia. 

"Every time we were sent a new interpretation of the EMS Jubilee Song, we were thrilled by the creativity and the passion that people had in turning it into their song," says pastor and artist Fabian Vogt. He composed and recorded the original version of "Together We Are Free". The song tells a story of similarities and differences and of a world in which we are stronger together. At the opening service of the Jubilee Year in January 2022, EMS General Secretary Dr Dieter Heidtmann sent the song on a musical tour of the worldwide network. 25 churches and 5 mission societies in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East with 25 million Christians were called upon to create their own versions. Sheet music, lyrics, playbacks, karaoke video, a choral and a brass band version were made available for download on the EMS website. Now a five-minute compilation of 17 videos sent in shows the diversity and creativity of the EMS Fellowship.

Rich diversity of a worldwide Christian fellowship 

The sheer range of musical feedbacks was particularly remarkable. They include highly professional music videos with perfect camera angles, edits and singing, but also simpler mobile phone videos. What they all had in common was the joy and pride of enriching the EMS Christian Fellowship with their contribution. "The song has definitely cast its spell. I was particularly impressed by the idea of a young pastor from Indonesia to translate the song into sign language in the music lessons of a Christian deaf community," reports Heidtmann. This unique interpretation of the Jubilee Song is now part of the model worship materials for the 18th September. All congregations of the EMS member churches are invited to join in celebrating the EMS Jubilee on that day.  

In its 50-year history, the EMS has set an example of how to implement a modern understanding of mission. The colourful mix of videos sent in also demonstrates togetherness as equals. All the videos and the edited mix are available at

Press contact: Ulrike Pfab,, Phone +49 711 63678 -11