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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

May 7, 2005

My easy Sabbath

Filed under UCG-Germany, UCG-Holland

I had my easy Sabbath today. I spoke in the Netherlands in the morning and in Germany in the afternoon. It was "easy" because I did not have to make an overnight trip.

I got up at 5:30 a.m. this morning for my "easy" Sabbath. My schedule called for a sermon in the morning at our 10:00 a.m. services in Echteld, the Netherlands, with a return drive to Dormagen, Germany (between Düsseldorf and Cologne on the Rhine river) for an afternoon service at 3:00 p.m.

I was all prepared to make the trip in my Daihatsu Sirion luxury vehicle. Daihatsu Sirion It is admittedly a far cry from the times when church of God ministers in this part of the world used to drive a church-owned Mercedes or BMW, but with a gas price of US$ 6.00 a gallon for regular gasoline, its gas consumption of 50 miles to the gallon is a big help. Anyway, at 7:00 a.m. a friend from Dormagen called and offered to drive me to the service in the Netherlands.

I gladly accepted the offer. So I left at 7:25 a.m. to make connections in Dormagen. 34 miles (54 km) later I arrived in Dormagen, and after transferring my things to my friend’s car, we headed out for Echteld, a small town located west of Arnhem on the Dutch A15 freeway.

97 miles later (156 km) we arrived in Echteld Marcos Rosalesat about 9:45 a.m. for the service. Our attendance was around 30, which is about normal. We had visitors who made up for some of our people who were out of town. Marcos Rosales updated us during the announcements, letting us know that the Dutch supplement for the next issue of the "Good News" magazine is nearly finished (we send out a Dutch supplement along with the English GN). Marcos hails from Curacao and is a very enthusiastic fellow with a lot of zeal for preaching the gospel. Our small congregation in the Netherlands recognizes him as a leader, and rightly so, since he helped hold together the United Church of God in his country during some troubled times in the last seven years. Here I give my sermon in English.

After services we fellowship for an hour before starting our return trip to Dormagen for the afternoon service. After another 97 miles, we arrived at my friend's home about 2:30 p.m. I transferred my things to my luxury Sirion and headed over to our church hall, a nice public meeting hall in Dormagen about a 5 minute drive away. At this service with about 40 in attendance one of our younger fellows gave his 2nd sermonette. Then I gave the same sermon as in the morning, but in German this time. Afterwards people fellowshipped until nearly 7 p.m.

Then I had a counseling lasting until about 9 p.m. After that, it was another 34 miles back to my apartment in Mondorf near Bonn. Two church services, two sermons in two languages, 262 miles, 15 hours. Not bad for my easy Sabbath, eh?

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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