The common thread

Overview 40 days

Global local – 40 days of intercultural encounters means to go on a six-week journey together. Each week will involve a concrete theme, and the themes build on each other as follows.

A gift

Be a blessing for each other (the Book of Ruth): We will kick off our 40-day-program with this theme. Others become a blessing for us and sometimes, those blessings are found in places where we didn’t expect them. This is what happens to Naomi and her Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth. Through Naomi’s family, Ruth gets to know God. In turn, she gives Naomi new hope through her faith. During this time, we want to discover the diversity around us and find the courage to take small steps towards each other. Maybe this will open up unexpected new perspectives for us.

Down to earth

The Gospel unites us(Ephesians 2): The Gospel means being reconciled to God and inevitably leads to true fellowship in Jesus Christ. The dividing wall has been torn down through Jesus. In which areas do we have to repent because we are being divisive through our thinking and our attitudes? Which concrete steps can we take in order to live the Gospel the way it is taught here?

Open-minded

God challenges us (Acts 10): Since the dividing wall has been torn down, we should take steps towards each other. Peter and the entire church were moved by God to bridge the gap with the Gentiles. Peter allowed the Holy Spirit to convince him and visited the Roman centurion Cornelius in his home. What keeps us from taking steps towards each other? How can we learn to overcome our prejudice and reservations?

Joined together

Table fellowship for everyone (Galations 2): This is the point in our 40-day-program where true fellowship and community should take place. Eating together was an integral part of Christian fellowship in the early church. In this biblical story, Peter no longer wants to eat with the Gentiles as soon as other Jews show up. The truth of the Gospel does not allow for any hypocrisy and goes against any form of discrimination.

Active

Developing our callings (Acts 6): True fellowship should also become visible in our plans and activities. We want to draw from the fullness of our cultural diversity. If we reflect the diversity of all of God’s children in our staff, leadership and positions of responsibility, it will open up new possibilities. How can we relate to each other on an equal footing? How can we empower each other even more? Which new callings should we issue?

Alive

Heavenly perspectives (Revelations 7): This is meant to be the highlight of the program. The last week starts with taking a look at the Book of Revelations. People from all nations, cultures and languages will come together for “heavenly fellowship” before God. This is our common goal as we live in fellowship as one united people of God. The 40-day-program can be brought to a close at the end of this last week with a colorful feast or a diverse worship service.

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