The Church of Economy: How Do Country Churches Live? | NDR.de – Radio NDR 1 MV

As of: 09/30/2021 3:28 PM

The Pomeranian Evangelical Church District faces significant challenges. For the current year alone, losses of about two million euros must be absorbed into the budget. Austerity measures also affect the field of work of the deaconess.

by Christian Peblo

The number of priests has been steadily declining for decades. For example, there is a shortage of people working in community education and church music. At the same time, demographic change is causing the number of church members to shrink. Old people die, and young people turn away or do not find their way to church. “Knowledge of the content of the Christian faith is decreasing,” says Rev. Philip Stack of Spantico. “This is why the work of community educators is so important, because they sow the seeds of the next generation.”

My voice: Episode 50

Daily work apart from pastoral work

The 49-year-old came to Spantico in 2004. The area of ​​her parish is enormous: from northwest to southeast it stretches on a circle of about 25 kilometers in diameter. He admits with a smile: “You’re likely outside and a ‘driver.’ He already had to take care of nearly 20 buildings in his Spantekow/Boldekow-Wusseken twin community. That includes 13 churches and chapels as well as 14 cemeteries spread over nearly 30 localities.” What bothers him most is that working at the desk is so time-consuming: “If you put your heart and soul into this work, it can come a little to the fact that you take over. Because there is so much work out there that you have to do everything that can work out today.” He would rather have more freedom in pastoral care, and would like to meet people. There are only 670 parishioners left. But giving up and burying your head in the sand is unthinkable. fit for him.

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where are you going?

Philip Stack wants to change something “now”. For this reason, he – with his other colleagues – presented a discussion paper to the church district synod in May 2021. “If we continue like this, one day the staff and priests will say that it is no longer possible.” The first full-time employees and volunteers have either given up or are planning to do so. In order to reduce the workload of priests and continue to be present in the area, the Pomeranian Evangelical Church District has proposed initial solutions. Persons who have completed private theological lessons must independently lead and organize church services. But is this enough to save the church in the country? How can the church meet the challenges in rural areas? Thomas Niedler and Christian Byblo talk about this in the new podcast Dorf Stadt Kreis.

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Two people sitting in the church.

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This topic is in the program:

Radio NDR 1 MV | Dorf Stadt Kris – Powerful Stories from the North | 09/30/2021 | 15:00

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