Evangelical Mission in Solidarity starts its jubilee year with Opening Service in Accra (Ghana)
“God’s concern for the poor, the underprivileged, the environment becomes our concern.”
The Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) has opened its jubilee year last Sunday (19 September 2021) with a festive worship service in Accra (Ghana). Until November 2022, EMS will celebrate its 50th anniversary with church services, conferences and international meetings. For EMS, the jubilee is not only an occasion for celebration, but also for reflection and action.
This was contained in a Press Release issued and signed by the General Secretary of the EMS Dr Dieter Heidtmann on Thursday, 23 September 2021.
The opening service took place in a historic location, the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Osu (Accra) is one of the oldest mission churches in Ghana. The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) was founded in 1847 by missionaries of the Basel Mission. Today, both the Basel Mission and the Presbyterian Church of Ghana are members of EMS.
The preacher at the opening service, Prof. Dr. B. Y. Quarshie, rector of the Akrofi-Christaller Institute for Theology, Mission and Culture, recalled Ghana’s colonial past: ” When people have never been enslaved, colonized or denied their freedom in some way, it is often difficult for them to appreciate and value their freedom. When people have always been free, they are often likely to take their freedom for granted and sometimes extend it to absurd degrees. A sense of what it means to be enslaved, whether physically, mentally, spiritually or psychologically, is needed for the preservation of our freedom just as being alive to the danger of denying others their freedom can help us to avoid becoming agents for the enslavement of other people.”
In his opening address, the President of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS), Rev. Klaus Rieth, paid tribute to the process of internationalisation that EMS has followed over the past 50 years. “From a German mission organisation with partners overseas an international fellowship has grown, which today connects more than 25 million believers in 25 churches and five mission societies. Especially in the time of the pandemic, it became apparent how closely this community has grown together over past decades.” Rieth reminded of the biblical foundations of EMS, which give courage to shape the future: “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
The Director of the Department of Ecumenical and Social Relations (ESR) of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev Nii Armah Ashittey, expressed his gratitude for the decision of EMS to celebrate the opening of its Jubilee Year in Ghana. “For us, this has great significance. In EMS, all churches are equal members, who decide together how to work together. Especially in such a historic place this becomes visible and tangible.”
With its jubilee year, the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity takes up the tradition of the biblical year of jubilee: a year that brings justice to the poor, liberates the oppressed and opens the eyes of the blind to a new view of the world. (Luke 4:18-19) In this context, Prof. Quarshie highlights the responsibility of Christians for a sustainable society: “God’s values of love for all, kindness, justice, fairness, honesty and integrity become our own values, and God’s concern for the poor, the underprivileged, the vulnerable and the environment becomes our concern too.”
The Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) is a fellowship of churches and mission societies on three continents. 25 Evangelical churches and five mission societies in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East together form an international network of long-term partnerships. Members of the EMS in Germany include the Protestant Churches in Baden, Hesse and Nassau, Kurhessen-Waldeck, the Palatinate and Wuerttemberg as well as the Moravian Church, the German East Asia Mission (DOAM), the Basel Mission German Branch (BMDZ) and the Evangelical Association for the Schneller Schools (EVS).
Press contact: Dr Dieter Heidtmann, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +49 711 6367821