Report on the Worleys' Trip to Germany
The Free Evangelical Bible Church of Meine, Germany, celebrated their twentieth anniversary with sweet and reminiscent gatherings on Saturday evening and Sunday morning and afternoon, 16 and 17 September. Jean and I thoroughly enjoyed being there and, for the first time, had simultaneous translation filling our ear throughout.
Pastor Tim Kelly opened Saturday evening with a retelling of the beginning of the Church in October 1997 after he and Linda had been sent to Germany by Grace Church for that purpose in 1996. Andre Michel, their longest standing lay Elder, then retold many of the highlights in the life of the Church over the whole two decades. A collection of slides brought back rich memories and incited many comments.
On Sunday morning, their newest Elder Gerald Mueller opened the service with a brief exhortation from Ephesians 4 on the unity of the church in Christ, then Tim preached a topical message targeting the children, the third generation, urging them to absorb the passion and endurance shown by the first two generations in establishing and growing the Church. A potluck luncheon followed the AM service in true Grace Church style! Between lunch and dessert, the final gathering commenced with my words of greeting and congratulations from our body, along with my presentation of a commemorative plaque expressing the thoughts of Paul from Philippians 1:3-5 (Sara Karsten did a wonderful job on this!). The pastor of a church in Kazakhstan spoke next; Tim & Andre have been visiting him and his Elders annually for the past decade tutoring and discipling them in expository preaching and the doctrines of grace. Then four long-term members shared memories and words of appreciation for the ministry of the Church, thus closing the day and the weekend.
Some 300 people were in attendance, several returning from as far away as western Canada. Representatives from four “adopted” churches were present. And thanksgiving was offered to God for them as well as several other house churches that benefit from sermon podcasts made available online. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were exalted in every expression, to the praise of God’s glorious grace.