Evangelical Church in Central Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Mitteldeutschland, EKM)
"We want our faith to permeate everyday life and to help shape it. We also want to strengthen the cooperation of parishes, groups, and individuals on all levels of church life. That takes imagination, ideas, and courage."
A bond for life
On 1st January, 2009 the Evangelical Church in Central Germany (EKM) was founded. There are 800,000 members in 3,000 parishes. The EKM evolved out of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thuringia and the Church Province of Saxony. Both Churches had been moving towards each other over the period of a decade until they finally merged. With this ‘bond for life’ the limited financial and personnel means are now concentrated.
The EKM is, like all other Regional Churches in Germany, synodically constituted which means that it is organized democratically. The supreme organ is the regional Synod. The 84 members meet twice a year in order to enact church laws, pass the budget and the staff appointment scheme, and in order to make directional decisions for the Regional Church. The implementation of the synodal decrees is done by the 23 members of the Regional Church Council. The Regional Church Council passes decrees, takes conceptual decisions, and represents the Regional Church to the outside. The Regional Church Office is directed by the college which consists of the President of the Church Office, Brigitte Andrae, four Heads of Departments, and the Bishop of the EKM, Ilse Junkermann. Since 2011, the Regional Church Office is situated in the Collegium Maius, the old university of Erfurt. The Bishop’s see is Magdeburg.
The budget constrains, however, were not the only reason for the merging of the Regional Churches into the Church in Central Germany. ‘Bond for life’ describes also the intention to approach the people of the region. We want our faith to permeate everyday life and to help shape it. We also want to strengthen the cooperation of parishes, groups, and individuals on all levels of church life. That takes imagination, ideas, and courage as the members of the two synods wrote during their first gathering in 2003 in a letter from Halle to the parishes. This intention and spirit influences the new constitution for the young Evangelical Church in Central Germany.
The EKM belongs to the following associations:
- member church of the Evangelical Church in Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, EKD)
- World Council of Churches (Ökumenischer Rat der Kirchen, ÖKR)
- Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (Gemeinschaft evangelischer Kirchen in Europa GEKE)
- Conference of European Churches (Konferenz europäischer Kirchen KEK)
- Lutheran World Federation (Lutherischer Weltbund LWB)