“A keen mind and a big heart”

FSPC President Gottfried Locher responds to the announcement of EKD Council President Nikolaus Schneider’s resignation.

“Nikolaus Schneider has dedicated many years to our church. In his own unique way, he gave open and honest face to his presidency. His recent decision to spend his time at his wife’s side, sharing her path, is a wise one filling me with respect. It shows once more: This man unites within himself a keen mind and a big heart.”

With these words, Gottfried Locher, Council President of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, responded to today’s announcement of resignation issued by the Council President of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Nikolaus Schneider. Schneider will step down from his office as EKD Council President and Council member in mid-November due to his wife’s battle with cancer.

During Nikolaus Schneider’s presidency, the EKD maintained close and friendly ties of cooperation with the FSPC. Last October, the two church organizations co-hosted an international congress on the Reformation Jubilee in Zurich. In this context, Gottfried Locher recalls Nikolaus Schneiders’s words on the message of the Reformation: “People today – so geared towards performance and success – need to hear a different voice, a voice talking about God’s mercy. People – so geared towards pursuing their own interests and pushing their own agendas – need that other voice, a voice talking about loving your neighbor.”

Locher added: “My respect for Nikolaus Schneider’s decision is accompanied by my deep concern about Anne Schneider’s health, and also by my regret about the loss sustained by the Protestant voice in Germany and beyond. And also by my regret about the loss that the Protestant voice in Germany and beyond will sustain. May Anne and Nikolaus Schneider, along with their loved ones, experience our church as that which it is called upon to be: a community of people carrying each other.”