18. 12. 2012 | News, Archive 2012
Juergen Reichel takes office as EMS General SecretaryThe ordained pastor with extensive ecumenical experience starts his new position as General Secretary on the 1st of January 2013
Stuttgart. On 1 January 2013 Rev. Juergen Reichel will take up his new position as General Secretary of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS). He succeeds Rev. Bernhard Dinkelaker (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wuerttemberg), who will go into retirement at the end of 2012 after 20 years of service with EMS, including 17 years as General Secretary.
Reichel is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria. Since 2001 he has been the head of Development Policy Dialogue at the Church Development Service in Bonn and has extensive ecumenical experience. From 1989 to 1992 he worked as a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Venezuela in Caracas, and from 1993 to 1999 he was director of the Collegium Oecumenicum in Munich, an international house of study run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria. Reichel (53) is a member of many international development and ecumenical bodies, including the EKD Advisory Commission on Sustainable Development and the International Council of the World Social Forum. Up to 2012 he was vice-chairman of VENRO, the umbrella organisation of development non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Germany and represented churches and NGOs at international conferences.
Reichel is taking office at a time when the EMS, which was founded in 1972 as the “Association of Protestant Churches and Missions in South Western Germany”, has completed the consistent transformation to an international fellowship of Protestant churches and mission societies. In Reichel’s opinion, "this internationalisation means that EMS has taken a pioneering path towards a partnership of equals which is as yet unthinkable for other religious or governmental institutions". In his view, it is thanks to the older generation that "our churches have not lost sight of mission. I am particularly encouraged by the fact that young people in the EMS Fellowship are now increasingly building global relationships to Africa or Asia, for example as ecumenical volunteers or as students in the ecumenical theological exchange programmes”, says Reichel. In future the EMS will be especially counting on people in parishes, who will also benefit from EMS themselves. "It remains one of our mot important tasks to support them locally in their international partnership relations”, says the new General Secretary. The official inauguration of Juergen Reichel will take place during the first ordinary meeting of the International EMS Mission Council on 9 June 2013 in the host church of Baden.
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