“The neighbour could be someone who is visiting a congregation for the first time or someone who has long been a member of it. Whichever it is, we love them all. It also doesn’t matter where they come from, what religion they belong to, whether they are religious in the first place, or consider themselves particularly devout. We love them all: regardless of gender, sexual orientation, and age, people with disabilities, the poor and the rich.”
– Rüdiger Krause, President of the New Apostolic Church Northern and Eastern Germany
People need each other. They need the various skills and ideas that everyone brings to the table. Paul described this with the image “many members, one body”: “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you’” (1 Corinthians 12: 21). The one has this gift, another one that gift. This varies considerably. But it is precisely in this diversity that people need each other. May everyone feel welcome in this diversity – in all countries, in all places, and especially in all churches.
In various areas of life, diversity is and can already be experienced in the daily life of the congregations.
- Diversity in ecumenism: “Reconciled diversity” is the leitmotif of ecumenism. Living together in faith without renouncing the identity of one’s own church. To view diversity as a form of wealth, not as an obstacle. Where Christians of different denominations meet directly, at the congregational level, this motto has been coming to life for some years now.
- People with disabilities: What does it mean if everyone is to be included in the same way? What needs to be changed in terms of organisation, construction, or language for this to happen? How should everyone communicate and interact? The Church supports its congregations in this process. It is committed to gradually remove barriers of all kinds—most notably those related to building construction.
- Pastoral care for all: A person’s sexual orientation has no relevance for pastoral care. In the Bible, Paul’s letter to the church in Rome states: “For there is no partiality with God.”