Evangelical Church Weiler zum Stein
Through friendships in our church with members of the Evangelical Church of Weiler zum Stein in Germany we have gotten to know this church. There have been visits by our members both ways.
Included below is a description from one of the visitors from Weiler zum Stein of their visit in May 2011.
Visit to our Partner Congregation in England
“Now the adventure begins” said our pastor as we collected her and her husband Lothar from their house at 7am on 6th May 2011.
We already had butterflies in our stomachs, after all it’s not every day that you go to England and visit another congregation, especially as we weren’t going to be staying in a hotel or bed and breakfast, but with families at their invitation. Our delegation of six people (Rosemarie Gimbel Rueß and Lothar Rueß, Doris and Dieter Kleisch, Peter Kemnitz, and Christopher Kmoch) would be hosted by families in Towcester. This would provide us with no small challenge to demonstrate our knowledge of the English language.
Barely two hours later, after a fairly short but cramped and loud flight, we landed at Birmingham where we were picked up by our friends Peter Chapman and Andrew Prescott.
We headed south to our first destination, Stoke Bruerne, a picturesque village situated on a canal. We went to the Navigation Restaurant where we had a refreshing drink, and a hearty British meal.
In the evening we met with the Elders and Deacons of our ‘Partner Congregation’ at Greens Norton. We were spoilt with a delicious three course meal and, via a Powerpoint Presentation, Peter Kemnitz gave a report about our own congregation.
The next morning we went to Weston, a small village which is the home of Towcester’s partner congregation. Here we were introduced to the Weston Community Project. Pastor Phil Drage reported how through prayer and consultation it had been possible to convert the old Baptist church into a centre for use by the community. We were particularly impressed with how many attractive activities were on offer. They have a walking group, an art club, a wine club, a computer group, a weekly lunch club for senior citizens, and a group for mums and tots. Young or old, there is something for everyone.
The next appointment, in the afternoon, found us in the centre of Towcester. We were to meet Pastor Daniel and his wife Jane, who lead the schools project in Turkana, Kenya. Since our friends were in Germany last year and explained to us about the project, we as a congregation have financially supported this project. To give us an impression of this deprived land, we were shown pictures and told what had occurred since this school project was started in 1993.
Pastor Daniel and his wife Jane also gave us an insight into the current situation with the projects. There was a list of things that it was necessary to purchase, without which the completion of the building of the school in Lokori would not be possible. This was an appropriate point in time to present our donation. We presented a cheque for 500 Euros and told Pastor Daniel that our congregation had made a commitment to give this amount to the project each year. We then spent some time praying together and for one another.
In this moving meeting we found deep friendship and love, and we felt our own sense of responsibility to the work with the poor in Turkana. At the end Pastor Daniel gave us an invitation to go to Turkana, when he will gladly show us everything.
In the evening we met together with the leadership team of TVBF for a meal, and we exchanged thoughts on how our partnership could progress.
On Sunday we experienced the morning service in Towcester, where we had the opportunity to individually introduce ourselves to the congregation. Pastor Paul Knight gave the sermon and Lothar Rueß translated it into German. The Towcester congregation meets in a school hall as they have no building of their own.
Following the service we shared a delicious lunch, during which we had the opportunity to speak to many members of the congregation, before having to say our farewell.
An unbelievably brilliant trip to England had come to an end, through which a deep two-way bond had grown.