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2008 South German Annual Conference

June 18-22, Herrenberg and Sindelfingen, Germany

The 6th South German Annual Conference came together with Bishop Rosemarie Wenner presiding. The conference theme was, '"Blessed are those&ellipsis;' Confessing your faith by living it."

Fitting with the theme was the emphasis that was placed in the opening worship service and in the work groups on the denomination's Social Principles. During the conference session, members heard examples from churches of faith in action and discussed the role of the Social Priciples in the individual congregations.

The report of the superintendents also picked up the theme and introduced the conference to Bishop Robert Schnase's Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. It is hoped that that the churches in the conference can use these ideas to encourage the development of faith in action among their own members. Other papers set forth by the committee for evangelization and by the committee for adult education were discussed. A controversial question was the extent to which concrete growth of our congregations is an indication of spiritual health.

In other business, the bishop chose Carl Hecker to be the new superintendent of the Heidelberg District. The worship service in Sindelfingen, which closed the conference, was different this year because no one was ordained. This provided the opportunity for everyone to spend the whole day together under the theme, "I Love You."

The conference honored three retiring ministers this year.

Membership (confessing members) of the conference stands at 17,492, down 306 members or 1.72 percent. The number of baptized members in the conference stands at 13,681.

- Jonathan Whitlock