On 16th September 1973, the „Evangelical Mission Society in South-West Germany“ (EMS – Evangelisches Missionswerk in Südwestdeutschland) was founded in Stuttgart. Last Friday we celebrated the 50th anniversary with a worship service followed by a reception in the place where it was founded.
It was founded as an initiative of 5 Churches in the South-West of Germany: Baden, Hesse and Nassau, Kurhesse-Waldeck, Palatinate, and Württemberg. 50 years later EMS has become the „Evangelical Mission in Solidarity“: an international association of 23 churches, two guest churches and five mission societies in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. „Free for the Future“ is the slogan chosen by the leading bodies for the Jubilee Year.
In our jubilee service we celebrated 50 years of a vibrant history and the development from a former association of member and partner churches to a modern international fellowship of members with the same and equal rights and duties.
We remembered our theological guidelines:
“Mission is foremost God’s loving devotion for the world – in creation, in the history with the people, in Jesus Christ and in the power of the Spirit. Our witness is our response to and our involvement with God’s fervently compassionate and transforming love. The center of our faith is the Good News of salvation, of the fulness of life, of the conquest of death through Jesus Christ. With the name Jesus Christ are connected redemption, deliverance, reconciliation, healing, justice, peace and hope.”
We listened to the message of young people challenging our future:
“We are convinced: NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT! Every day can become a day of God’s devotion. Acting means getting involved in mission as a movement that transforms society. Acting means implementing the Jubilee Year into reality. Acting means that the church as the intermediary of God’s mission in the world bears witness to make it reality in the world.“
“Our God, we give thanks to you for the Gospel which is the foundation of all what we do. We thank you for EMS as an evangelical church fellowship whose center is the Good News. We ask you for the people in EMS wherever they are right now: in Africa, in Asia, in the Middle East, in Europe. We ask you: Keep us united and let the worldwide EMS fellowship continue to grow and flourish.”
We enjoyed singing the jubilee song “Together We Are Free” and listening to stories from the past 50 years.
We published the Jubilee Book in German and English. The book contains 284 pages and can be ordered through our online shop www.ems-online.org/shop.
If you are interested in the worship service you will find it on YouTube: