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Lay Preaching

This blog section summarises my commitment in lay preaching and provides access to my sermons and meditations, and to preaching resources.

For many years now, I have been invited once in a while as a lay and relief preacher:  by my own home church in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, by local congregations and overseas, and now here in Australia by local congregations.  Some of my more recent sermons can be found in this Blog section.

If you would like to invite me as well, feel free to do so and contact me via Email <info /at/ grweb.org>.

Please be aware, however, that

  • I am not an ordained minister but have studied in Germany what the Uniting Church in Australia calls the Ministry of Deacon (or, in my home church, Christian Community Education / Gemeindepädagogik) and have worked in this ministry for many years
  • I have also studied Protestant Theology in Germany with an emphasis on an Ecumenical perspective of Christian Theology and a focus on the context (place) of theology in society (e.g. the South Korean Minjung Theology; the Latin American Liberation Theology, or Christian New Testament theology in its Judaic context)
  • English is my second language
  • I am a “lay” preacher, i.e. hold no office with any of the Australian mainline churches, but have some contact with the Uniting Church in Australia and the Lutheran Church of Australia
  • I am happy, and indeed I am interested, to preach for smaller congregations, even outside of Adelaide (you may find my name on a lay preachers’ list of the Uniting Church of South Australia)
  • preparing a worship service and writing a sermon I do not consider lightly.  To keep up this commitment, I need at least cover my travel expenses.
  • I normally follow the international Revised Common Lectionary;  feel free to suggest other Bible texts for reading and preaching, if you prefer.

 

If you would like to invite me for preaching, please

  • provide me with the “standard” worship service order
  • let me have some background info about your congregation
  • and contact me, if possible, at least four weeks in advance.

 

How do I preach? 

Well, the easiest way to answer this question is to read through some of my sermons here (“Sermons preached“),  however, please accept that they have not been written for publication!  While I write a complete worship service draft, I may preach freely or in a mix using my manuscript.

I am interested in the text first as it speaks for itself.  There are at least three layers which I may consider:  the written text as it has been passed down to us;  the wider “story behind” the text, and its socio-political and cultural con-text;  and the message as intended by the Gospel authors.  Very often, there are interesting twists in the story which may relate an interesting, and perhaps unusual, aspect to consider.  I also like to learn from the text, explore the use of its language (Greek or Hebrew) and to understand more of the social and political conditions of the time.

As a German, my theology has been influenced by Martin Luther, the Christian reformer of 500 years ago.  But there have been many other thinkers and and theologians: e.g. Luther’s contemporary, Ulrich Zwingli (Zuerich), Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Rudolf Bultmann, Martin Buber, and others from Jewish background or ecumenically from the so-called “Young Churches”.  I like to include their thoughts if helpful for our understanding of the text.  I have also been strongly influenced by the South Korean Minjung Theology1 ] and the liberation theologies in Central America and South Africa.  My Bible reading is also informed by the many encounters with people from around the world and from many Christian denominations and religions.

Essentially, I am interested in the discourse between the Bible text and the congregation at their place today.

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Footnotes

  1. for further reference and reading see for instances Wikipedia, Society of Biblical Literatur, or Global Theology [top]