Some of you will say “where is Bremen, Germany and others will add “and who wants to know.” I want to introduce you or reintroduce you to a bit about the Bremen/Iowa relationship. About 3 or 4 years ago the Iowa Conference began a relationship with churches in Bremen. At that time Eric Breddin was spear-heading a group who had some interest in developing and nurturing this relationship. Some good folks from Iowa went to Bremen for a visit and then last fall some of the Bremen folk came to Iowa for a visit. Several of you might have hosted our German friends.
In August of this year Rich invited those who might be interested to join him in a phone conversation . Several people joined the call. Rich’s primary purpose was to see what the interest was in continuing this relationship and then how might we do that. Several people were interested and the result was a Steering Committee was formed. That committee is composed of Ryan Dowell Baum, Sioux City; Sharon Guffey-Lewis, Anita (co-chairs) Constance Popken, Sioux City; Don Ruhde, Cedar Falls and Steven Lewis, Walnut. Since August 21st we have communicated with each other and with our Bremen colleagues.
One thing they are particularly interested in is joining in a World Wide Communion Sunday Service using similar liturgy. We are working on that and we offer an invitation to others who might want to join in using the order of service on that day.
They are also involved in a mission project with churches in Ghana and have invited us to pursue that project with them. We find that interesting and exciting. Also one of their pastors would love to come to America for a period of 3 months as a pulpit exchange. Of course, one of the pitfalls is the language. They speak English quite well. It is a bit more difficult for us to have someone who is fluent in German to go there, although certainly not impossible.
This is just a brief update on this relationship and we will attempt to keep you in the loop as it progresses. Again we issue an invitation to any church in the Conference who would like to celebrate World Wide Communion Sunday with our German friends. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sharon Guffey-Lewis, Pastor of UCC Congregational in Anita and Iowa Conference Board of Director