The Value and Benefit for Christian Tourists
Multitudes of people, both Lutherans and Christians of every denomination from all parts of the world, visit Wittenberg every year. They delight in the English worship service which becomes a special highlight of their visit to the Luther sites at Wittenberg. The worship service 1) integrates their faith in Christ with their history of the Reformation, 2) nurtures their faith, 3) enables them to celebrate their connection to Christ, Martin Luther, and the Church, and 4) returns them to their homes and congregations with renewed vigor and greater commitment to local and worldwide mission and ministry. The people are blessed, and they exude their excitement into their congregations and communities!
The Value and Benefit for Pastors Serving in this Ministry
Pastors serving in this ministry are drawn from all the Lutheran bodies in the USA, Canada, and Australia. The pastors are honored to conduct worship in both the Castle Church and the Town Church in Wittenberg. Their participation is a mountain-top experience that invigorates them personally while re-energizing their pastoral ministry for years following their service time in Wittenberg. As the pastors are revitalized, so in turn their congregations are blessed by their pastors’ revivification! Further, the pastors return to their congregations with firsthand knowledge of Luther and the Reformation that equips them for teaching youth and adult courses, so significant to the faith and life of their parishioners. The lengthy waiting list for pastors seeking this opportunity is testimony to such a benefit.
The Value and Benefit for the German Church in Wittenberg
The Wittenberg English Ministry has operated since its beginning as an informal “brotherly partner” to the pastors and congregations of the Castle and Town Churches. Over the years, our WEM pastors have been an inspiration to the German pastors in Wittenberg as well as a healthy influence on their ministry amidst the secularized society that Germany has become. Simultaneously, the WEM has become a valued “English arm” of the German church in Wittenberg! The German congregations in Wittenberg, strengthened by our presence and servanthood ministry, are showing renewed growth and vitality as a result. There is every likelihood that this ministry will be involved in the establishing of an international English congregation in Wittenberg by the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in the year 2017.
The Value and Benefit for the City of Wittenberg
From our beginning in 1997, the WEM has enjoyed a solid connection to the Wittenberg city leadership, beginning with the Lord Mayor and extending throughout the community, such that we are considered as a unique grass-roots institution that has “belonging” in the city itself. As compared to numerous other organizations who have sought to operate from Wittenberg and have faded away, the WEM has been a servanthood ministry to the town since its founding, and continually seeks to be a supportive Christian presence for the city.
The Value and Benefit of Being a Faith Ministry
Dr. Martin Luther is regarded as a spiritual forefather in varying degrees by Lutherans and Christians of every kind throughout the world. Accordingly the WEM operates as an independent Lutheran ministry with the goal of presenting solid Lutheran worship services that present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that any Christian from any denominational background from anywhere in the world can worship God in Luther’s Church. Pastors committed to the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions serve in this ministry, and are drawn from the various Lutheran bodies in the USA, Canada and Australia. As an independent Lutheran ministry, the WEM is not a project of, and hence not “owned” or funded by, any Lutheran denomination, but seeks to serve the whole Body of Christ. WEM is completely a “faith ministry” intent on serving the spiritual needs of the people who come to Wittenberg so as to help them connect their faith in Christ with their heritage of the Reformation.