FELSISA Witness VELSISA Boodskapper


FELSISA Witness VELSISA Boodskapper

01/12 March 2012


VELSISA Boodskapper

Newsletter of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa

Nuusbrief van die Vrye Evangelies-Lutherse Sinode in Suid-Afrika

Contents / Inhoudsopgawe

Watchword for 2012 …………...…………………..…………...

Evangelical Lutheran Salem Congregation Uelzen …..…….

From the Bishop’s Desk …………….………………………….

Teenager camp 2011 …..……..……………..………………...

Sinodale Jeugweek 2011 — Wittenberg ……..………….......

In Conversation with… Kurt Wittig …………………………....

Symposium in Oberursel, Germany ….………………...…….

Youth Camp — with a Mission ……..…..……………….…….

Farewell of Pastor Siegfried Köhne …………………………..

Official Announcements ……….…...………………………….

Mrs Ute Johannes has resigned from the editorial staff,

effective with the publication of the previous edition of

FELSISA Witness (4/2011). We thank her for her

contribution in recent years.

Title page:

Pastor Michael Ahlers with son Joel at a Sunday Service on a

camping weekend of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation

Newcastle on the outskirts of Glencoe, KZN.

FELSISA Witness / VELSISA Boodskapper

Comissioned by the Synodical Council of the FELSISA

Editor: Pastor Michael Ahlers

P.O. Box 111, Wartburg / KZN 3233

Email: mahlers@felsisa.org.za

Assistants in translating and editing:

Pastor Toby Ahlers and Pastor Helmut Straeuli

Please send your contributions, remarks and questions to the editor.

All contributions for the next edition to be submitted by: 30 April 2012












Watchword for 2012

Pastor Christian Tiedemann, Wartburg

Jesus Christ says:

My power is made perfect in


2. Corinthians 12:9

We people can’t really handle being

weak or not being able to do things on

our own. It already starts at a young

age… And when we become older and

our bodies start to weaken, it takes a

while for us to accept that things are

changing, that my hearing isn’t that

great any more, that I am losing my

sight and I am impaired when walking.

It’s not easy to then admit that

one needs help! Nobody wants to be

weak and dependant on others!

Being weak was also part of Paul’s lifeexperience.

He had some kind of a

disease, an ailment which interfered

with his work! We don’t know what it

actually was. Paul suffered under this

sickness and he repeatedly asked God

to heal him. But God did not heal him,

rather Jesus answered his prayers by

saying to him: My grace is sufficient

for you, for my power is made perfect

in weakness.

We too are sometimes quite weak,

even if we find it difficult to admit! We

too sometimes need help but often are

too proud to realize it. And our weakness

doesn’t necessarily need to be a


Watchword for 2012

bodily ailment as it was the case with

Paul. No, there are other situations in

life, where we seem to be at wits end,

where despair seems to creep in and

we just don’t seem to understand the

world anymore! These are the situations

in life where Jesus says to us: My

grace is sufficient for you, for my power

is made perfect in weakness.

Jesus doesn’t get rid of the pain and

hurt in our lives. Paul continues to

suffer of his sickness, and we too will

continue to struggle in this world, carry

our burdens and have a tough time.

Jesus doesn’t take away the suffering,

no, but what he does do is, that when

despair creeps in and we do need help,

and we fold our hands and pray to

God Almighty, he will hear our prays

and help! That is what Paul did and

God was with him!

And Paul became a great servant of

the Lord, the first missionary to go out

into the heathen world and proclaim

the Good News, a true servant of God!

We too are servants of God. We are

His children and with and through us

He too wants to build his Kingdom

here on earth. So what we can learn

here is that not one of us is too weak

for God! Why? Because His power is

made perfect in weakness. And that

should be more than enough for us,

because His grace is sufficient. At the

beginning of this year, we need to be

reminded of this, especially when the

church seems to be getting weaker and

Watchword for 2012

even in our little FELSISA we are

plagued by strife and disunity.

It is sad to see how much energy we

seem to waste fighting amongst us

Christians! Every one seems to want to

let his opinion count, every one wants

to be strong! But Jesus says: my power

is made perfect in weakness. Have we

forgotten this? We are His children,

adopted and loved by Him. So why

don’t we just put our trust in Him?

Why don’t we just put our future into

It was Trinity

Sunday, 8 June

1952. The day

had finally come

for the dedication

of the new church

b u i l d i n g a t

Uelzen after the

cornerstone had already been laid the

year before by Pastor Willi Reusch.

The old church building erected at the

beginning of the century had become

too small for the growing congregation.

The new church was built according to

the plans of the Dundee-based architect

of the Swedish mission, Einar An-


His hands? Take away our pride and

make space for Him in our lives and

give Him room, so that His power is

made perfect!

And if this happens, we can say with

Paul: For Christ's sake, I delight in

weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in

persecutions, in difficulties. For when I

am weak, then I am strong. Yes, this

truly is a lesson to be learned by all.

Amen! ■

Evangelical Lutheran Salem Congregation Uelzen

— 60 Years of Grace

Pastor Kurt Böhmer, Uelzen

dreas Magni. The elaborate stained

glass altar windows, representing the

Apostles Peter, James, John and Paul

were manufactured and delivered by

the company “Franz Mayerische

Hofkunstanstalt” in Munich, whilst the

crucifix was carved out of an oak roof

beam by the well-known artist Eva

Limberg from Bielefeld in Germany.

Yet the most striking feature of the

church – viewed from the outside –

has probably always been the copper

clad steeple. Even after the copper

plates had taken on their characteristic

green colour the steeple was still visible

from afar. But that is – for now –

something of the past.

The church at Uelzen before the renovation

Strong winds with violent gusts in the

spring of last year caused some of the

copper plates to tear loose, so that immediate

repair measures had to be

taken. After extensive research a Pretoria

based company, Cupric Tectonics

CC, one of two specialists in the field of

copper roofs in South Africa, was commissioned

to replace the copper cladding

on the steeple.

Despite significant delays caused by

the sluggish erecting of the scaffolding,

the workers went out of their way to

make up for the lost time. The workers

could already be heard on the steeple

at five in the morning and they carried

on till after sunset.

The stripping of the old copper plates

revealed that the wooden structure

underneath was adversely affected by

penetrating rain water, so that parts of

the structure had to be rebuilt as well.

Evangelical Lutheran Salem Gongregation Uelzen


The result after all the

hard work: an entirely

renovated copper steeple

roof – at first overwhelmingly

bright, but

quite soon already a

darker brownish copper

colour – and after two

months the first signs of

the old green colour reappeared.

The new steeple

is very similar to the

old. Yet different. The

biggest change in the

external form is that the

old galvanized steel

cross with the copper

ball and weather vane was replaced

with just a simple copper cross.

The old steeple roof had served the

congregation for almost 60 years. Now

The steeple — in visible

need of repair

Evangelical Lutheran Salem Gongregation Uelzen

the congregation can, on 3 June this

year, commemorate the dedication of

the church building 60 years ago with

a new steeple roof. We want to thank

our Lord not only for giving us or for

preserving the church building for us

for such a long time, but most of all,

that He has given us the privilege to

hear His Holy Word and to receive His

Holy Sacraments within these walls.

How often has Holy Communion been

celebrated here at our altar? How

many times have repentant sinners

been comforted with the words: “Your

sins are forgiven”? Since the dedication

of the church in 1952, 261 souls

have received the grace of Holy Baptism.

Among them were not only children

but also adults. Just this past

Christmas we were privileged to be

The place of worship with new steeple


witnesses of the baptism of a thirtytwo

year old father and his new born


May God have

mercy on us

and grant us

that His people

may be served

here in our

church building

w i t h t h e

preaching of

His Holy Word

and distribution

of His Holy Sacraments,

so that

His salvation

may be brought

to many more.

From the Bishop’s Desk:

Actions of the Church informed by its core values

Bishop Dr Dieter Reinstorf, Pietermaritzburg

In the previous edition of the FELSISA

Newsletter (2011/4) a short report was

given on the 31st Pastor’s Convention

held on the game farm, Impalabos,

just outside of Hoedspruit. The Pastors

of the Free Evangelical Lutheran

Synod in South Africa (FELSISA)

spent most of the time formulating

“Core Values and a Mission Statement”

for the FELSISA.

The Great Commission of

the Lord is, of course, well

known. Christ says to his

disciples: “Go and make

disciples of all nations,

baptising them in the

name of the Father and of

the Son and of the Holy

Spirit, and teaching them

to obey everything I have

c o m m a n d e d

you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

But it is nevertheless very

helpful to formulate the

core mission of the church

in contemporary language and for its

own context. In this way new awareness

is created for it. But even more

valuable than the end result is the exercise

of reflecting on and determining

those values, which guide us as we

seek to fulfil the task that Christ gave

to his church.


From the Bishop’s Desk...

Reflecting on “values” leads to an important

change of focus. The “Whatquestion”

(What do we do?) is supplemented

by the “Why-question” (Why

do we do what we do?). Values have to

do with our deepest convictions that

inform and guide our actions. The

evangelists, for example, report that

Jesus often climbed a mountain and

remained there all night to pray to his

Father (cf. Mt.14:23). That he climbed

a mountain informs us about “what”

Jesus did. But that Jesus in fact did

this, is the result of a core value: The

deep conviction that the Father listened

to his prayer and that the

fellowship in prayer provided him with

the inner strength to complete the task

given to him by the Father.

From the Bishop’s Desk...

It is easy to determine “what” we do in

the FELSISA. Each year we host a

Brass Band and a Choir festival. We

also organise various Bible camps for

our children and youth. But “why” do

we do this? What motivates us to travel

hundreds of kilometres to a synodical

festival, or to spend a lot of money

for our children to participate in a Bible

camp? The action is guided by a

core value. Should the core value no

longer be there, participation will


Not all values are known. Many are

hidden in our subconscious. But whenever

there is an emotional outburst,

like excessive joy and excitement or

extreme anger and rage, they come to

the fore. I can still recall many conversations

in the past relating to “proper

dress.” The outrage (when people didn’t

dress properly) or the satisfaction

(when they did) indicated that a core

value had been touched. Consciously

determining what values drive us is

not only a useful exercise, but for the

Church of Christ a helpful and indeed

essential task.

Core values are not simply preset.

They are shaped by our environment

at home, at church, or by the politics

of our country. For the children of

God, who are aware that natural man

inevitably opposes the will of God, the

evaluation of ones core values on the

basis of God’s Word is of critical im-


portance. Are my core values that drive

and motivate me congruent (in line)

with Scripture? Or do I discover core

values within Christ and his apostles,

that a foreign to me?

The exercise of determining and then

evaluating the core values in the light

of Scripture lead to many “aha experiences”

during the recently held Pastor’s

convention. The list of core values

that was drawn up is by no means conclusive.

It will surely need more reflection

and could result in some changes.

But the exercise was extremely valuable!

The core values are intended to

provide both pastors and members of

the FELSISA guidance in making Bible

orientated decisions and to determine

the focus of their ministry. The pastors

agreed on the following core values,

which will be commentated in more

detail in the next editions of the FEL-

SISA Newsletter:

1. God’s Word alone

2. Cross of Christ

3. Means of Grace

4. Welcoming all

5. Equipping of God’s people

6. Caring for the world

Teenager Camp 2011

Anke Scharlach, Wartburg

The Teenager camp, which took place

in Vryheid, started on the 15th of December

2011. The good weather in the

early afternoon promised to stay for

the rest of the weekend. We were very

grateful as the teenage camp is supposed

to be a happy and sunny camp.

Luckily it stayed that way.

The theme for this camp was “Prayer”

and we got to realise again how important

prayer is to build up our relationship

with God. Of course it is also

very important that we concentrate on

our conversation with God, while we

pray. We did several exercises to get us

‘back on track’ with our heavenly father

whom we, thank God, can call our

heavenly father, because He saved us


Teenager Camp 2011

and made us His children at our baptism!

Of course we also played sports and

sang and we were able to relax and

show off our sporty and musical talents

again. We also ate, after Pastor

Christian Tiedemann eventually allowed

us to!

We also went on an outing to the

‘Grootgewacht’ dam where we also had

a lot of fun! Pastor Tiedemann was

Teenager Camp 2011

definitely not bored as we had so much

energy and we also ensured that Pastor

Tiedemann didn’t sit for too long!!!

On Sunday we held our traditional service

where we sang two of our new

songs. Pastor Michael Ahlers held the

service and Pastor Rüdiger Gevers

held the sermon pointing out how important

prayer is. Pastor Tiedemann

held a ‘short and sweet’ speech about

the teenager camp and all the things

we did over the weekend.

We want to thank the Vryheid congregation

that we could make ourselves

Sinodale Jeugweek 2011 — Wittenberg

’n verslag

Aanvaar mekaar dan,

soos Christus julle ook aanvaar

het, tot eer van God.

Rom 15:7

Die wêreld is klein, is dit nie? Ons

tema vir die 2011 Jaarlikse Sinodale

Jeugweek te Wittenberg, was “Christus

in die hele wêreld.” Sowat 70 jong

Christene het op Dinsdag 6 Desember,

by die Gemeente Wittenberg

saamgekom om weer eens ’n jeugkamp

te geniet. Miskien het sommiges bloot

gekom omdat Ma en Pa daarop

aangedring het, of om weer ’n vriend


right at home! The food was especially


We also want to thank Pastor Gevers

(who is, unfortunately, leaving us as

Teenager Pastor), Pastor Tiedemann,

Vicar Paul (whom we hope to see again

next year), and the teenager camp parents:

Peter and Brigitte ‘Gigi’ Straeuli.

We also want to thank Miss Johannes

(whom we hope to see again next year)

for her input in singing. We thank you

all for your patience and perseverance

with us “complicated teenagers”!!! God

bless you and give you strength for all

your important duties! ■

of vriendin te kon sien. Hoe dit ook al

sy, God werk op baie maniere en dit is

goed dat hulle dáár was.

Pastor Winterle van Kaapstad het ons

toegelig oor die werk wat hy in

Brasilië, Kenia en Mosambiek gedoen

het en nog steeds in Mosambiek doen.

Ons kon met behulp van ’n

skuifievertoning volg hoe gemeentes

in die verskillend kulture te werk gaan

en die Here God op maniere wat vir

ons vreemd is, met hart en mond en

hande loof en prys. Pastor Michael

Ahlers het ons gedagtes geprikkel met

vrae oor wat “kerk” en wat “luthers”

eintlik beteken. Ons het te wete gekom

hoeveel Lutherse kerke daar in die

wêreld bestaan en hoe hulle

wêreldwyd gegroepeer word. Dit was

verbasend hoe klein ons VELSISA

eintlik is in vergelyking met ander

kerkorganisasies, soos die Lutherse

Missouri Sinode, wat soveel leraars het

as wat ons gemeentelede in die hele

Sinode het – SJOE!!!

Vanselfsprekend het ons ook baie

gesing. Ons sê net dankie dat Bernhard

Böhmer ons nie ons stemme nog heser

laat sing het nie. Ons het dit regtig

geniet om sulke mooi liedjies te sing.

Pastor Carlos Winterle


Sinodale Jeugweek — Wittenberg

En dan was daar heelwat vrye tyd en

ander werkswinkels: Woensdag het

ons in verskillende groepe verdeel en

tafeldoeke, ’n kaart van die wêreld,

boekmerke en vensterprente gemaak;

ander het ’n aanderediens sowel as ’n

Bybelvasvra voorberei. Donderdag was

ons oppad na Uwelo-kinderhuis in Piet

Retief. Daar het ons blomme en

groente geplant, ’n pakhuis reggepak

en op die teer ’n Hopscotch-speletjie

geteken. Toe ons met hulle begin

sokker speel, het die kinders spontaan

ingeval en in die pret gedeel. Vrydag

het ons by die ouetehuis te

Paulpietersburg besoek afgelê. Ons

kon aan die inwoners en dié van Huis

Sinodale Jeugweek — Wittenberg

Immergroen plesier verskaf, deur vir

hulle Kersliedere te sing en die

selfgemaakte boekmerke te oorhandig.

Vrydagaand het ons dan ons

aanderediens gevier soos dit deur ’n

groep jeugdiges onder leiding van

Pastor Michael Ahlers, voorberei was.

Hierna het ons tydens die Bybelvasvra

baie pret gehad met onder andere

toiletrolle en daarby het menige

sekerlik nog hul Bybelkennis ook



Die uitstappie op Saterdagoggend

moes ongelukkig weens die slegte weer

wat voorspel was, gekanselleer word.

Desnieteenstaande het sommiges in

die namiddag koers gekies na

Heyshope-dam om die enkele ligstrale

te geniet wat deur die wolke gebreek

het. Die aand het ons almal die Lutherrolprent

gekyk waartydens selfs

springmielies aangebied was.

Op Sondag het ons twee eredienste

bygewoon waartydens ons gesing het

en na wonderlike boodskappe van

Pastors Helmut Paul en Michael

Ahlers respektiewelik geluister het.

Nie net kon ons van die jeugweek

lekker padkos saamneem nie, maar

ook wonderlike herinneringe aan ’n

opwindende week tesame met ou en

nuwe vriende en met ’n verrykende

Christus-boodskap en Christusvreugde.

Ons het opnuut geleer om

mekaar te aanvaar en ons naaste só te

bemin soos Christus ons eerste bemin

het. Alhoewel dit soms moeilik blyk te

wees omdat ons so verskillend is, moet


Sinodale Jeugweek — Wittenberg

ons poog om elke mens deur die oë

van God te sien en moet ons leer om

hom of haar onvoorwaardelik te


Ons wil almal hartlik bedank wat

gehelp het om hierdie week moontlik

te maak. Ons het lekker geëet soos die

dames van die gemeente het seker

gemaak dat ons nie honger ly nie. En

aan ieder en elk wat deelgeneem het:

Mooi so dat jy daar was! Volgende keer

bring jy hopelik ’n vriend of twee

saam. ■

In Conversation with… Kurt Wittig

In Conversation with… Kurt Wittig

Mr Kurt Wittig, from the Congregation

of Christ, Kirchdorf, has been

involved with “Kairos Prison Ministry”

for some time. The goal for this

non-denominational organisation is

to share the love and forgiveness of

Christ with the prison inmates and

their families, as well as the prison


FW: Kurt, you have been involved

with “Kairos Prison Ministry” for a

few years now. What motivated you

to get involved in this work?

Kurt: Many years ago I read the book


Sentence” by


Colson. This

book left a

very deep


on me and

was the stimulus for me to, maybe

later in life, participate in prison


FW: How does a typical Prison

deployment work?

Kurt: The group of volunteers meet on

a Thursday morning and then, from

14:00 until Sunday afternoon, a group

of 42 inmates are led through the



FW: How did you feel during your

first participation?

Kurt: The first time you participate

you are a bit uncertain about what to

expect in prison. I was a bit afraid. But

then you meet the prisoners for the

first time, and you notice that they are

just as nervous.

FW: Do you find much openness for

the Gospel in the prison population?

Kurt: God has written the Law on the

heart of every man. The prisoners

have a lot of time in prison for

contemplation, and with that their


often starts to

afflict them.

We work

mainly with

the most


criminals, and

many of them simply cannot come to

rest. Along with insomnia they also

experience nightmares about their

past. When they then come to us, they

are usually very receptive to the


FW: To what extent to you find

support from prison management?

Kurt: Once you have the support of

management, those on duty are very

helpful. Many of the prison guards

even volunteer to provide their

services without compensation on a

Karios-weekend. But to get the

support of management in the first

place, a lengthy bureaucratic process

is necessary.

FW: You go into the Prison as a

“team.” How are you prepared for

your participation?

Kurt: They only allow men from the

Kairos-team into a men’s prison and

only women in a women’s prison. The

prison in Pietermaritzburg is a men’s

prison. In this prison we go as a team

of about 35 men and are assisted by a

support-team consisting of 15 women

who remain outside of the prison. For

a typical weekend, the support-team

prepares 1000 meals for the team, the

prisoners and also for the prison

guards who safeguard us. The support

-team also fulfils an important

function by continuously having

individuals praying for us and for

specific prisoners by name.

Before each deployment in prison

every team member must participate

in 35 hours (5 days) training. The

training has two goals: firstly, to

become familiar with the Kariosprogramme

and secondly, so that the

team can grow together into a

cohesive unit.


In Conversation with… Kurt Wittig

FW: Did you have any prejudices

against criminals which you had to

come to terms with?

Kurt: I was of the opinion: “Lock them

up and throw away the key!” I am still

of the opinion that everyone who

commits an offense should serve their

full sentence. But now I am convinced

that we can have an enormous impact

on the prisoners by winning them for

Christ. Then, if they are to be released,

the probability of them being

reoffenders is considerably lower.

Already by the second day you no

longer view a prisoner as a murderer,

rapist or thief but as your neighbour

who also needs forgiveness for their

sins and also needs Jesus Christ to be

their Saviour.

FW: What’s up with the “cookies”?

Kurt: Just as Jesus loves us

unconditionally even though we

disappoint him over and over again,

so we try to pass this love on to the

prisoners. We do this by setting aside

time for them, praying for the work,

spoiling them with good food and

writing them personal and

encouraging letters. Then there are

the home backed cookies. The

prisoners can eat these at their

pleasure. We also give them a packet

of cookies in the evenings that they

can give to someone in prison against

whom they have done wrong.

In Conversation with… Kurt Wittig

A Kairos-Team with prisoners and wardens (Arrow: Mr. Kurt Wittig)

FW: Who can participate in Karios?

Kurt: Anyone older than 18 years who

is active in a Christian congregation

and is willing to submit to the Karios


FW: What motivates you to continue


Kurt: That I could experience what

our Almighty God can accomplish in

these prisoners within four days. For

example, when a former gang lord

says, “I had this prison under my

control, but now I serve Jesus Christ.”

A highlight for me is also the

“forgiveness ceremony” on the

Saturday evening. It is very gripping

to be able to experience how the

angels in heaven must rejoice over one

sinner who repents.


FW: How can one support this work?

Kurt: By prayer and intercessions. By

writing letters to the inmates. By

supporting the backing of the cookies.

By donating money. By direct


FW: Have you personally grown

though this work?

Kurt: I do not know of anyone who

has participated in Karios, whose

participation has not had a positive

influence on their relationship with

God and with their fellow man. It is

also no longer as difficult for me to

have conversations about my faith

with strangers.

(The interview was conducted by

Carmen Ahlers)

“Apartheid and Mission” — Symposium in

Oberursel, Germany

Pastor Dieter Schnackenberg, Lüneburg

In November 2011, the Lutheran Theological

Seminary in Oberursel, Germany,

hosted a symposium on the topic:

“Apartheid and Mission.” Guest speakers

from Lutheran churches worldwide

were invited to address this topic. It

was the first time that this topic was

officially addressed within confessional

Lutheran circles. Beforehand, many

of the participants had asked themselves

what the outcome of such a

symposium might be. Looking back, it

was a hugely healing experience. Both

blacks and whites had the opportunity

to raise their view on this controversial

topic, and it was done in a reconciliatory


Bishop Emeritus David Tswaedi D.D.

(Lutheran Church in Southern Africa –

LCSA) opened the discussion in showing

the inevitable consequences Apartheid

had for his church. He pointed

out that the wounds that the Apartheid

system caused has not yet been addressed

in an appropriate way.

The next speaker was from the FEL-

SISA. I (author of this article) had

been delegated by the Synodical Council

to present the following topic: “The

impact Apartheid had on the life and

actions of the FELSISA and the new

challenges that arose after 1994 for the


Symposium in Oberursel, Germany

FELSISA.” In this paper I

primarily investigated the

role that Apartheid ideology

played in the establishing

phase of our synod

and how the FELSISA

dealt with the system of

Apartheid between 1948

and 1994. It was very interesting

to read through

all the old documents and

minutes of our synod.

Many of the prejudices

that I had, were proven

wrong, and I realized that

it is not an easy task to

paint an accurate picture

of the past. We live in a

different time and our

thinking is in many ways

completely different from

that of our ancestors. I

discovered that, for example,

in 1932 Synod took

t h e d e c is i o n t h a t

“coloured people” are not

allowed to join the FEL-

SISA. I also observed a

constant struggle regarding

the question of how

the fellowship between

the FELSISA and the

LCSA could be built into a

more visible communion.

Symposium in Oberursel, Germany

We should certainly not deny the fact

that many bridges were built between

the members and congregations of

both churches in spite of the Apartheid

system. On the other hand, I could not

find an official statement by FELSISA

that out rightly condemned the despicable

attitude towards blacks that

Apartheid inevitably caused.

Pastor Radikobo Ntsimane (LCSA)

concentrated his address on the influence

that Apartheid had on the health

care system of South Africa. He pointed

out that, while the Lutheran missionaries

naturally brought with them

western medicine, this lead to the foregone

conclusion that all medicine of

the black people was categorically condemned

as being of evil origin. It was

very thought-provoking to hear this


On the second day, Dr Caroline Jeannerat

(Evangelical Lutheran Church in


South Africa – ELCSA) spoke about

the fundamental principles that are

important for a process of reconciliation.

She is a lecturer at the History

Department of the University of Johannesburg.

She pointed out that the

most important thing to do when it

came to successful reconciliations is

really listen to (as far as possible) the

story of everyone who was involved.

Reverend Emeritus Dieter Schütte

(Evangelical Lutheran Mission – ELM)

shared with the group the hardships

that he endured during the Apartheid

era. He presented the hardships that a

white pastor had in confronting his

church and congregation by opposing

the policies of Apartheid.

Professor Emeritus Dr Volker Stolle

presented the controversy that existed

in the LKM (Lutheran Mission, previously

Bleckmar Mission) during Apartheid.

It was not easy for the Mission to

Participants of the symposium during a short break

find the right disposition towards the

Apartheid system, and the question

that concerned them the most, was

how missionaries should conduct

themselves and act in such a political

situation. As Stolle spoke, one could

audibly hear the stress in his voice that

this topic caused in the LKM. He was

the Director of the Bleckmar Mission

from 1978 to 1984, and was personally

involved in the controversy surrounding

the Apartheid system.

Reverend Dr Daniel Mattson, who

served as a lecturer at the Lutheran

Seminary in Enhlanhleni, spoke about

his experiences with Apartheid, explaining

that he was involuntarily part

of the system and that it was not possible

for him to change anything fundamentally.

The last presentation belonged to Professor

Dr Werner Klän, who is the di-

Youth Camp in Newcastle

— with a Mission

Tshepi Ntshoe, Johannesburg

Since 2010, the Evangelical Lutheran

Congregation Newcastle of the FEL-

SISA has been involved with a daycare

centre called “KwaHilda” for orphans

and children in need. This daycare

centre is situated in Osizweni, a


Symposium in Oberursel, Germany

rector of the Lutheran Theological

Seminary in Oberursel. He asked the

question: What route should be followed

to reconcile all the involved

partners? He proposed that a committee

with delegates from all the different

Lutheran churches should be established.

This committee should find

a proper way to deal with the controversies

of the past.

I am very thankful for this symposium.

The Lutheran Theological Seminary in

Oberursel did a wonderful job hosting

this event and we thank them for their

contribution. We pray that God will

show us the way forward, and that He

gives us the right insight for what is

necessary to move towards a reconciled

future. May He also grant us the

courage and boldness to be good ambassadors

of the reconciliation we have

in Jesus Christ in this multicultural

society that we live in. ■

township circa 30km outside of Newcastle.

In July 2011 the congregation

invited the youth groups of the FEL-

SISA to a work camp to clean up and

revamp the house and grounds of the

institution. A group of youth from

St Paul’s Congregation, Fairland, Johannesburg

responded to the invitation

and — together with their pastor

and vicar — travelled to Newcastle for

a few days. One of the youth writes

about their experience:

Youth Camp — with a Mission

The up’s and downs of KZN... It all

started with the long-winded roller

coaster drive that left us all exhausted

and hungry. We made a stop at

Wimpy and were all given a budget of

R30.00 for any food of our choice.

As we continued our journey, we witnessed

the amazing forestry that the

Majuba Mountain had to offer and

couldn't help but take a few snaps

(pictures) of the mountain. The


mountain was massive with gigantic

trees all around us.

That is the journey summarised. As

soon as we got to the house we stayed

in, we (the ladies) were all greeted

with our own beds, and the gents... I'd

hate to be them at the time, although

they did seem pretty comfortable with

the idea of sleeping on the floor. We

then drove off to the orphanage for

the very first time. On our way there,

we came across a random bus stop

in the middle of nowhere... literally

really interesting; we just had to

take pictures. The people of Newcastle

are camera shy because their

reaction was to either cover their

faces as the camera flash went off

or hide behind the bus stop... it

was hilarious at the time.

When we arrived at the orphanage,

we were kindly welcomed by the

ladies that worked there and to our

horror, we all got a scrub, cloths

and bucket of soapy water and had

to scrub the walls. No mercy was

given to us “The only person that

should rest is me” — sincerely Pastor


The second day we woke up to the

cold winds of KZN and despite

that, we still headed off to the orphanage

and got to work. The

gents had to paint the outside wall

and us ladies were given the task of

taping and painting the passage wall.

We all worked hard and after a long

day were all taken pictures of by the

kids of the orphanage. (It got as crazy

as the children taking Tshepi’s jacket

and unless she takes a picture with

them, then she could get it back.)

Later on we headed home, all rushed

for a hot bath/shower then headed to

a church where we ate mouth watering

food every night for the rest of the

nights till we left. We all bonded over

random topic’s of discussion and

movies to the point where we slept


late every single night.

Youth Camp — with a Mission

On the third day we finished off all

the walls and it looked amazing. I am

proud to be part of the youth and felt

warm inside after all the “Thank

You’s” directed our way. We got to

know some of the children and were

happy to be of assistance in improving

the orphanage.

We as the youth would like to thank

Pastor Harry, Vicar Martin and everyone

that helped ensure KZN was a fun

filled experience. ■

The team of helpers with Pastor Niebuhr and Vicar Paul

Farewell of Pastor Siegfried Köhne

Farewell of Pastor Siegfried Köhne and his wife Meira

Birgit Eggers, Wartburg

After the Divine Service on Sunday,

the 4th December 2011, the Kirchdorf

Congregation celebrated a very special

occasion in its church hall: the farewell

of Pastor Siegfried Köhne and his wife

Meira. Pastor Köhne has faithfully

served our congregation for 18½

years! The tables were beautifully decorated,

and with a communal lunch

their farewell was celebrated.

As representative of the council, Mr

Walter Fortmann gave a farewell

speech and highlighted the following

qualities that Pastor Köhne in particular

was appreciated for:

Pastor Siegfried Köhne at his farewell


� 1951-1963 — Schooling at Wartburg-

Kirchdorf Schule

� From 1969 — Studying the ancient

languages at the University of

Natal, Pietermaritzburg

� 1973 - One semester of studies at

the Lutheran Seminary - Adelaide


� 1973-1977 - Study of Theology at the

seminary of the Wisconsin Evangelical

Lutheran Synod (WELS) in Mequon


� Mid 1977 to mid 1978 - Vicarage in

Lüneburg under President Günter


� The religious education

and the children’s

instruction were always

very important to

Pastor Köhne.

� He regularly and

frequently visited the

sick and homebound.

His wife Meira often

accompanied him,

which was much appreciated.

� In his pastoral care

Pastor Köhne always

had an open ear, and

you knew you could be

open and candid with

him, and confide your

concerns and fears in


� He diligently preached the

Word and administered the

Sacraments. Holy Communion

was especially important

to him.

� He is very practical with his

hands, and repaired many

things by himself.

� In spite of health related

problems in recent years, he

was prepared to serve his congregation

and synod for an

additional year. The congregation

is very grateful for this.

As a parting gift, the congregation

gave Pastor Köhne a sofa set

for their sitting room, and a donation.

Pastor Köhne and his wife are retiring

to the Estorf Farm, where he

also grew up. We look back on his

faithful service in pronounced grati-

Stations within FELSISA:

� Pastor of the congregations Panbult,

Newcastle und Vryheid (October 1978

to November 1985)

� Pastor of the St John’s Congregation

Shelly Beach (December 1985 to May


� Pastor of the Congregation of Christ,

Kirchdorf (June 1993 to December



Farewell of Pastor Siegfried Köhne

Pastor Siegfried Köhne with his wife Meira

tude, and wish him a blessed retirement

surrounded by his loved ones. ■

Further offices within FELSISA:

� 1990 - Elected onto the synodical

council of the FELSISA

� 1994-2004: Vice-president of the


� 1987-1992 - Youth Pastor

� 1992-1994 - Children’s Pastor

� 1995-2000 - Teenager Pastor

� Caring for numerous vacant


Calling of Pastor R. Gevers:


The Evangelical-Lutheran St Peter’s Congregation Vryheid and the Evangelical-

Lutheran Congregation Newcastle have called Pastor Rüdiger Gevers (currently

Panbult and Piet Retief) as their Pastor. He has accepted the call. Pastor

Gevers’ move is planned for the second week after Easter. His new address

will be:

209 Heerenstreet, Vryheid, 3100

Tel & Fax: 034 980 1697

Cell: 082 5744 479

Mail: rgevers@felsisa.org.za

Second Theological Exam for Vicar M. Paul:

Vicar Martin Paul (Fairland, Johannesburg) will start the written assignment of

his second theological exam on the 29th April 2012. The final oral examination

is scheduled for the 24th July.

Pastor Michael Ahlers installed:

On the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, the 29th January 2012, Pastor Michael

Ahlers was installed as pastor of the Congregation of Christ, Kirchdorf.

First Theological Exam Completed:

Seminarian Heinz Hiestermann successfully passed his first theological exam

in Oberursel, Germany.


27.-30. April Youth Retreat for “older” Youth — Vryheid

7.-9. May Pastors Convention — ELF, Johannesburg

23. June Synodical Youth Day — Pretoria

24. June Synodical Brass Festival — Pretoria

3.-4. August Synod — Greytown

7. October Choir Festival — Kirchdorf

11.-16. December General Youth Retreat

13.-16. December Teenager Camp

13.-16. December Children’s Camp


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