Word of the Month

For the New Year 2009

January 2009

In recent years it has become customary to associate individual years with certain themes. For example, the year 2008 was designated as the year of mathematics in Germany and as the year of intercultural dialogue in Europe. The idea is to draw attention to certain issues and give new stimulus to various areas of life.

I cannot seem to shake the idea of setting a special theme that is to occupy us as a Church in the year 2009. Together, let us make the year 2009 a year of involving ourselves in fellowship. Let us make this a priority and give it fresh impetus.

Let us get involved by

–        having understanding for others, and

–        taking advantage of the many opportunities to help along in church.

It is important to have understanding for one another in our time in particular because there are so many differences between all of us. There are different points of view here and there: between old and young, at times even between ministers and non-ministers, and between the conservative and progressive minded. I call upon all of us to summon up a great deal of understanding for others and their motivations. Wherever the Holy Spirit rules, there should be no lack of understanding for one another. An outstanding feature that was revealed at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost was the fact that language barriers were overcome. All the people were able to understand the sermon in their own languages. This shows that the Holy Spirit is capable of overcoming barriers and producing a deep understanding for one another. Let us ask the Holy Spirit for help here!

And then it is also important that we help along in the work of the Lord. Let us therefore also engage our gifts and talents there. From time to time one hears that this is sometimes difficult to manage in the congregations. It seems to me that there is at times still a lack of understanding for one another. But where there is understanding, it will be pos­sible for all to find a way of getting involved and helping along.

If we all involve ourselves in the community in such a fashion, a pleasant and warm environment will be created in the congregations, and we will feel at ease there. This is the kind of environment I would like to see in all congregations.

In this mind and spirit, let us go to work!

With heartfelt greetings I remain

Yours truly,

Wilhelm Leber