Organizing the Reformation Quincentenary Internationally
German-Swedish meeting in Uppsala and Stockholm
June 4, 2012
"We have common aims in the ecumenical movements. The spiritual fellowship we were privileged to experience here in Uppsala and Stockholm is the basis of our living relations." That was how Church President Nikolaus Schneider, chair of the EKD Council, summed up the recent encounter between the EKD and the Church of Sweden.
Delegations from the two churches met at the end of May in the Swedish capital and the traditional seat of the Church of Sweden in Uppsala. They conferred on current challenges to their respective ministries abroad and on ways of working together more intensively in the Conference of European Churches and the World Council of Churches. Another topic was the situation of the Swedish-language congregations in Germany, currently undergoing profound change.
The clergy of the German-language congregations in Malmö, Göteborg and Stockholm attended the meeting on the second day. St Gertrud's in Stockholm, founded in 1571 and thus the oldest of the EKD's congregations abroad, had invited the group to hold this part of its meeting in Stockholm's old city. The program included a tour of the church and lunch together, as well as a report about work at the local level and an extensive exchange of views.
The leader of the Swedish delegation, Archbishop Anders Wejryd, expressed his satisfaction at the invitation by the EKD to play an active part in planning the 2017 anniversary of the Reformation and add special accents from the angle of the Church of Sweden. In this context, Bishop Martin Schindehütte, responsible for the EKD's ecumenical relations and ministries abroad, confirmed that there were plans for an international theological conference. It will be organized jointly with the Swiss Federation of Protestant Churches, and the Church of Sweden is to be invited to make a contribution.
EKD Council Chair Schneider invited the Church of Sweden to Germany for the next joint encounter. Topics for that occasion include questions of church-state law and Christian-Jewish relations.