Church and Migration
The Evangelical Church of Westphalia has startet a discussion about church and migration. The title of a keynote paper is: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Everybody is invited to join the discussion.
On your tour of discovery, please use the illustrations at the beginning of each page. They offer playful access to the content, going beyond linear reading. You can comment on the individual sections of the text by clicking on the appropriate symbol. Please note our Rules for posting comments.
Also discover the contents of our resource materials for the keynote paper.
The following thematic priorities are available for you to download:
- The stranger is unfamiliar not only in a foreign country – “I was a stranger” – an attempt at a change of perspective. By Annette Muhr-Nelson.
- Talking about people’s fear of strangers – Migration and rightwing populism in Europe. Xenophobia must be opposed and we have to be able to talk about the fear of strangers. By Thomas Krieger.
- A journey of discovery through the Bible – The Bible: from start to finish a book full of migration experiences. By Christina Biere.
- When congregations become international … – Being church together with migrants. By Beate Heßler.
- Learning from ecumenical partnerships – Ecumenical partnerships equip us for Being Church in the Migration Society. By Jean-Gottfried Mutombo.
- What do my neighbours believe? – People with different religions live in our town. By Ralf Lange-Sonntag.
- Human rights are at stake – Refugees – ambassadors for human rights! By Katja Breyer.
- Shaping growing diversity – Lesson modules for secondary level I / years 9 and 10. By Ursula August
- I was a stranger and you welcomed me – A project day on refugees for secondary level II. The project day may be organised across different subjects (Religion-Politics-Social Studies-Ethics). By Ursula August.
- Programme of a congregation seminar on the keynote paper – By Malte C. Hausmann.
Published by the church government body of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia.
Altstädter Kirchplatz 5, 33602 Bielefeld, Phone / Fax: 0521 594-0 / -129, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive board and redaction: Prof. Dr. Dieter Beese, Bielefeld; Carmen Damerow, Bielefeld; Dr. Jan-Dirk Döhling, Bielefeld; Prof. Dr. Traugott Jähnichen, Bochum; Dirk Johnen, Dortmund; Dr. Ulrich Möller, Bielefeld (leadership); Annette Muhr-Nelson, Dortmund.
Realization: Martin Jäcke, Bielefeld; executive department of communications in the state church office of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, Bielefeld.
What is a keynote paper?
The Westphalian synod has regularly taken up burning issues in society and the church. After all, the church is part of society, not an island. The gospel challenges us to raise our own distinctive voice on social and political issues. In good Protestant style, that voice is not an individual one but the result of a process with broad participation. The keynote paper enables intensive discussion on particularly weighty topics at all levels of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia.
A topic is first proposed to the church executive board. If it decides to pursue it, it establishes a working group, consisting of experts from church circles and beyond. A time plan is decided, according to which the draft paper is then drawn up and presented to synod. A complex process follows, lasting over a year. The keynote paper goes to all 28 Westphalian church districts, agencies and associations. If possible, it is also dealt with at the local church level. Recipients engage with the content, make suggestions, contradict it perhaps, and discuss the possible consequences for church work. The goal is to implement the ideas in the paper in a constructive and practical way. That may lead to decisions at the district synod level, or to positions taken by individuals.
The feedback is collected in good time before the next Westphalian synod, which now has a range of opinions, suggestions and practical proposals on the table. Synod responds, passes resolutions, takes a position and initiates follow-up.
While previous keynote papers have been purely print products, today we can use the potential of the internet. The web version offers a host of additional facts and resources that give depth to the topic.
Previous keynote papers
- “Families Today“ (2012, German and English)
- “Shaping Globalisation“ (2007, German, summary in English)
- Relationship between Christians and Jews (1999, German)
- “Without us your church looks old“ (1997, German)
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