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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

November 12, 2011

"Kingdom of God" seminars

Filed under UCG-Germany

During the last three weeks, United Church of God–Germany held three Kingdom of God Bible Seminars: in Dormagen (near Cologne), Mörfelden (near Frankfurt) and Hamburg.

The Bible seminars were announced in the September-October 2011 issue of the "Gute Nachrichten" magazine. Our office in Bonn also invited every reader living within a 50 km radius to the seminar venue with a personal letter. We didn't know what to expect because a few years ago only one reader responded to an invitation to a public lecture. But this time we were pleasantly surprised by the positive response.

Seminar in Mörfelden
 I show the German "Kingdom of God" booklet
 to our visitors at the seminar in Mörfelden.
Seminar in Dormagen
 A seminar guest from Belgium asked to have
 his picture taken with me in Dormagen.

We had 18 new visitors in Dormagen (average attendance in Dormagen is 35 people). Three gentlemen came all the way from Antwerp, Belgium. They had seen the advertizing on the United Church of God website. 15 people came to Mörfelden (average attendance is 25) and 7 visitors attended the seminar in Hamburg (average attendance is 15). Overall, we had a 4 percent response to the letters we had sent out.

The seminar consisted of two PowerPoint presentations I gave on the topics: "What was the focal point Jesus’ message?" and "How up-to-date were Jesus’ predictions?" Our impression was that both presentation were well received. Using Bible passages and quotes from secular sources, I explained how Christianity has lost sight of the message about the coming Kingdom of God. I also outlined the signs that will precede the return of Christ as given by Jesus Himself. The visitors commented frequently and positively on both messages. All three seminars were enhanced by an abundant potluck meal provided by the local congregations, and the atmosphere was warm and friendly. The visitors participated in the fellowship and also stayed long after the seminar ended. Among the audience were readers who have read Church of God literature for 30 years and others who just started reading our "Gute Nachrichten" magazine only a few months ago.

One visitor who is pastor of a Sunday keeping church realized during the seminar that the Sabbath is very important and still valid for the followers of Christ. When he realized what that meant for him and his church he cried out: "Oh Lord, help us!" We prepared a seminar folder for every guest containing the booklet "The Kingdom of God," a 12-page reprint of articles on the subject of the gospel message, a handout of the PowerPoint presentations and an order form with all the literature available in German. The visitors could leave the order form with us if they wanted to order literature or leave their contact information to be contacted for the second round of seminars. Quite a few people want to come back for the second round and a few people mentioned their interest in visiting church services. After the seminar in Hamburg one visitor sent the following email: "Thank you very much for your hospitality and your presentations. I drove home with much joy in my heart!" The three seminars exceeded our expectations were very encouraging for our local congregations.

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


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