16. 07. 2011 | News, Archive 2011
"Mission in Solidarity" defines the future of EMS
At the outset of its fifth decade in 2012 the Association of Churches and Missions in South Western Germany (EMS) will introduce a new Constitution and a new name. As “Evangelical Mission in Solidarity” the EMS will continue the consistent policy of internationalization at all levels which was started in 1991. At the EMS Mission Council meeting from 24-28 June 2011 in Hofgeismar (in the North of the German state of Hesse) 34 delegates from three continents agreed unanimously to the proposals. The new statutes provide for equal full membership of all 23 former "member and partner churches” and five mission societies in ten countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The three EMS core areas - joint international programmes, staff exchanges and sharing of financial resources - will be significantly expanded with equal participation of all members in every area of strategic and financial decision making. If adopted by the EMS Synod in November 2011 as planned, the new Constitution and the new name will come into force as from 2012.
The delegates dealt intensively with the sustainable development of the international mission association. In an extensive discussion process involving all the churches and mission societies of the EMS fellowship every area of expertise of the EMS had been examined with regard to strategic development opportunities. To support the future viability of the EMS the organizational structure will be streamlined both at the Head Office in Stuttgart and in the national and international committee work. The Mission Council approved the statement of accounts for 2010 and also accepted the draft budget for 2012 totalling 6,367,799 Euro, recommending it for adoption by the EMS Synod in November 2011.
In a worship service the Japanese EMS delegate Toru Akiyama described how the small Christian church in his country is trying to cope with the acute effects of the triple disaster. Funds and donations originating to a considerable extent from the EMS community are being used in an emergency relief and reconstruction programme for the spiritual and physical needs of people in the affected regions around Fukushima and in other parts of the country. The EMS fellowship will continue to support the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan) in intercessory prayer, with financial assistance and also with solidarity in the critical debate on the country’s future energy supply. The EMS delegates also discussed and welcomed the outcome of an evaluation of the EMS support process for projects and programs. In addition they expressed the view that impulses from the two international Mission Conferences in 2010 in Edinburgh and Cape Town and from the Peace Convocation 2011 in Kingston/Jamaica should be taken up and further developed within the respective national and cultural contexts of the EMS fellowship.
The Association of Churches and Missions in South Western Germany is a network of 23 churches and five mission societies in ten countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe working for worldwide mission and ecumenical inter-church cooperation. The Mission Council comprises 36 delegates from all the churches and mission societies. The chairperson is Rev. Marianne Wagner (Protestant Church of the Palatinate), her deputies areRev. Dr. Habib Badr (National Evangelical Church of Beirut, Lebanon) and Rev. Klaus Rieth (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wuerttemberg). Rev. Bernhard Dinkelaker (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wuerttemberg) is the General Secretary of the Secretariat in Stuttgart.
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