Partnership Agreement between FSPC and the German Protestant Church (EKD)

A summit meeting between the FSPC and the EKD in Hannover brought a partnership agreement on its way. In addition, Swiss pastors should soon be able to apply for EKD positions abroad. Finally, the meeting affirmed the cooperative efforts between the churches in the Reformation Decade until 2017.

A first official meeting, held April 1-3, 2012, in Hannover, was attended by FSPC President Gottfried Locher and the EKD Council President Nikolaus Schneider.

A partnership agreement between the Protestant churches in Switzerland and Germany was brought on its way during the summit meeting. According to the agreement, the churches of both countries will work together across borders regarding theological and ethical topics as well as issues of church life. “This partnership agreement is a milestone in the relationship between our churches. It was made possible due to enormous mutual trust,” Locher explained. The draft agreement will now be submitted for review to the councils of the FSPC and EKD.

The EKD will also give Swiss pastors the opportunity to apply for EKD positions abroad.

In the coming years, the Protestant churches in Germany and Switzerland will hold events in various locations celebrating the 500 anniversary of the Reformation. Among the most important events are the commemoration of Martin Luther in Wittenberg in 2017 and that of Ulrich Zwingli in Zurich in 2019. The summit meeting’s participants affirmed the common goals regarding the Reformation decade and agreed on intensifying cooperative efforts.

In the run-up to the upcoming plenary assemblies of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE) in Florence in September 2012 and the Conference of European Churches CEC in Budapest in 2013, the FSPC and the EKD reached an understanding about shared visions and goals for the two most important church associations in Europe. The plenary assembly of the World Council of Churches WCC in South Korea in 2013 was also discussed. Both CEC and WCC are on the verge of important restructuring measures. The FSPC and the EKD emphasized the importance of international cooperation required for a consistent implementation of the restructuring measures.

The next meeting between the EKD and the FSPC is planned for May 2013 in Zurich.