This week we had the 25th European Theological Conference of the Church of God in Fritzlar, Germany. It was a wonderful event with representatives from Germany, the Netherlands, France, England, Ukraine, Hungary, Lebanon, and other places. The event revolves around a particular theological topic or issue (this year it was holiness), but it is also a time of fellowship and of receiving updates from the various regions. The Church of God Bible School in Fritzlar is our host every 2 years for this event. Aside from being a lovely town, I also really enjoy the fact that it means we get to see many of the young German youth.
Great things are going on throughout the region. I continue to be so happy with the genuine unity and spirit of cooperation that I see amongst the European churches. Our region may be the smallest in the CHOG world, but what we lack in size, we make up for in unity. And that unity is leading to more and more cooperation across borders. We are seeing the level of inner-connectivity grow dramatically and this has been very encouraging.
It was wonderful to have Pastor Jacques Zola of the French-speaking Congolese church in Holland attend his first meeting as a Church of God pastor. And it was great to see Pastor Fegali of the Paris Church of God attend and give a great report on the innovative work amongst Arab-speaking churches in Paris. From the U.K., we heard that the church in Birkenhead (Liverpool) where we are sending 3W missionaries Zach and Audrey Langford had 45 youth attend the Wednesday night service. This was unbelievably great news! And it's yet another reason why we need to mobilize behind the Langfords to get full support. In the Netherlands, traditional, post-modern, and non-Western churches are coming together and cooperating (Three Worlds indeed!). And the Ukraine had young leaders share with us about their plans to expand their work. And in Hungary, 2 healthy churches with young leadership are on the brink of starting a new church plant in downtown Budapest.
Overall, what we continue to see in Europe is that churches are willing to re-calibrate, take risks, and do new things in their effort to reach out to their neighborhoods and countries. I'm immensely proud of everyone and am so happy to be serving amongst the people of this region.
I believe this region is going to set a new standard for cooperation and unity in the Church of God. Unity, as is well-known, is one of our greatest points of weakness in the Church of God. It requires intentionality and humility amongst the parts of leaders to truly create a regional unity that fosters cooperation and mutual support. We are seeing this happen here. Three Worlds is thrilled to be a part of all of this and we are committed to serving the region and helping to bring health and vibrancy to the great work being done throughout the region by CHOG churches.
Above is a video I took of the downtown square of Fritzlar, Germany. It's always a joy to spend time in Fritzlar and we are grateful to the staff and students at the Bible School who made us all feel so welcome.