Thomas kretschmar has been dean of kulmbach for three years now. He has since become acquainted with all of the 25 parishes that belong to the deanery. The community of wirsberg. He preached in the local st. Johanniskirche admittedly never.
That should change: on sunday, 26. January, will the wirsberger the dean "live" experience.
And the local pastor peter brunnhauber? The migrates. He is holding the service this sunday at the evangelical church in stadtsteinach. Meanwhile, the pastors of the parish untersteinach also go on a hike. Wolfgang oertel from untersteinach preaches in the mangersreuth church, sigrun wagner from rugendorf can be found in grafengehaig, and martin fleischmann from guttenberg holds two services – one in the spital church and one in the nikolai church in kulmbach.
What sounds like a rough mess is a well planned action: "pulpit swap sunday" it is called, and it certainly has a deeper meaning. Traditionally, christians experienced "their" church service first and foremost parish priest, occasionally a substitute. The pulpit exchange sunday offers you the chance to meet a clergyman you have never met before, or one you have heard of but never really seen in action.
"This can be quite an exciting experience", says dean kretschmar, who thinks it’s good to break out of well-worn ruts for once. Often parishioners and pastors had grown accustomed to each other over the years or even decades, routine crept in, and there was little room for new things. "It can be enlightening to look beyond the boundaries of one’s own congregation – and to experience people other than the usual ones."
This also applies to the pastors in the deanery. "I like to look at familiar faces, but I still find it exciting to preach in a different congregation for once.", says deputy dean holger fischer. "It broadens the horizon of the preacher and the listener and makes you look at your own congregation with different eyes. And perhaps this will also bring in new ideas for how worship is celebrated in other congregations."
At the action on 26. 22 parishes participate in january, and some pastors travel long distances to exchange pulpits.
While holger fischer, pastor in burghaig, virtually only goes into the neighborhood to mainleus, and the mainleuser pastor michael schaefer also travels only a few kilometers to schwarzach, the grafengehaiger pastor heidrun hemme or her pressecker colleague siegfried welsch take on long journeys: hemme preaches in gartenroth, welsch in kirchleus.
Impetus for the future
Dean kretschmar expects the action to provide an important impetus for the future: "we are facing a time with many vacancies, i.E., with many unfilled pastorates. Several colleagues have thankfully agreed to take over as substitutes, so there will always be new faces in the congregations."
The deanery’s pastorate in gartenroth is already vacant: pastor raimund pretzer has left for school service. Ekkehard weibkopf, pastor of schwarzach for many years, also recently said goodbye to his congregation. In melkendorf, due to the illness of pastor klaus spyra, substitutions are the order of the day, and in the church of peace in ziegelhutten they will be: deacon gunter wagner will shortly retire; pastor rolf dieling will follow him a few weeks later. And last but not least, the pastorate in harsdorf will also be vacant in the foreseeable future.
The clergy, who then take over the representation in the congregations, are supported in this by lectors and pastors. "We are very grateful for this", emphasizes holger fischer. Such volunteer work will become even more important in the future, since a shortage of pastors is to be expected in the future.
Parishioners who want to know what it’s like when things aren’t "the way they used to be, on pulpit exchange sunday you will have the opportunity to try this out beforehand.
Who preaches where?
Gartenroth, 9.30 o’clock, pfr. Hemme
Grafengehaig, 9.30 a.M., rev. Wagner
Guttenberg, 9 a.M., rev. I. R. Bishop
Harsdorf 10 a.M., rev. Ahrens
Kirchleus, 9.30 a.M., rev. Welsch
Kulmbach church of the resurrection, 9.30 o’clock, pfr. Singer
Kulmbach church of peace, 9.30 o’clock, pastor. Skoda
Kulmbach-johanneskirche, 9.30 a.M., pastor winkler
Kulmbach-kreuzkirche, 10 a.M., rev. Thamm
Kulmbach-mangersreuth, 9.30 a.M., rev. Oertel
Kulmbach-petrikirche, 9. 30 a.M. Spitalkirche and 11 a.M. Nikolaikirche, rev. Fleischmann
Lehenthal, 10 a.M., rev. Dieling
Mainleus, 9.30 o’clock, rev. Fisher
Melkendorf, 9 a.M., rev. Thamm
Neuenmarkt, 9.30 o’clock, pastor. Schleicher (because of a community event is not exchanged here)
Presseck, 9.30 o’clock, deacon stefan ludwig
Rugendorf, 10 a.M., pfr. Brunnhauber
Schwarzach, 9.30 o’clock, rev. Schaefer
Stadtsteinach, 8.45 o’clock, pastor. Brunnhauber
Trebgast, 9.30 o’clock, rev. Meyer
Untersteinach,10.3 p.M., fr. I. R. Bischoff
Veitlahm, 9 a.M., rev. Dieling
Wirsberg, 10 a.M., dean kretschmar