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18.09.2020

Our Mission: Join in!

The various expectations of representatives in the German region. (Photo: M. Pauly, assembly: P. Bienefeld)

Behind the scenes of the online conference: Annette Salomo (left), Chairperson of the Regional Assembly Germany and Angelika Veddeler, Executive Secretary of the Germany Region. (Photo: S.Vecera/UEM)

An extraordinary Regional Assembly Germany took place on August 28, 2020. The more than 45 delegates met on the screens - in an exclusively electronically organized form. This was a novelty for everyone - and it went smoothly! In concentrated discussions, the delegates discussed and adopted new ways of working in the German region, which will be valid from 2021.

The Regional Assembly Germany was preceded by a three-year "future process" involving the region's governing bodies, the member churches, the existing regional committees and many cooperation partners. The aim of the process was to create more flexible forms of participation in the UEM's programs and to enable greater involvement in the international community.

From 2021, therefore, the existing forms of work in the region will be changed. Instead of working in five coordinating committees as at present, there will in future be three specialist groups and three networks. The specialist groups will bear the titles "Mission", "Education" and "Responsibility", which are based on basic concepts of the UEM constitution. They will be staffed by the member churches and vBS Bethel, but may call on further experts on their respective topics. The specialist groups are given specific working concerns and tasks by the German Regional Assembly, usually for periods of three years. The tasks are always based on the main topic of UEM, which is determined every three years at the international UEM General Assembly.

In addition, three networks are created. They are called "Young Adults" - this network has been in existence and growing for years and has provided the decisive impetus for new developments -, "Women" and "Partnerships". They meet once a year, both among themselves and together in a large network meeting. These meetings serve to work on the content, the conception of the determined UEM topic focus for the respective target group, the exchange of information and the cultivation of contacts. The networks communicate with the Regional Assembly or its Governing Board via their own elected "structure teams". What is special and new about the networks is that their members do not necessarily have to belong to one of the UEM member churches, but that they are open to all interested and motivated people.

The new working structure will be valid in the new UEM legislative period, i.e. it will be implemented from the UEM General Assembly in September 2021.

A further decision concerns the content of the work: a working group has been set up to develop a proposal on the topics of "racism, discrimination and (post)-colonialism" and how these topics can be treated as priorities within UEM in the next legislative period. The working group will have an international membership. Traditionally, it is the task of the hosting region to submit a proposal for a topic for the coming period to the Assembly. Since the 2021 General Assembly will take place in the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, in Villigst, this task now falls to the German region. The proposed topic will then be discussed and further voted on by all delegates in the General Assembly.

Angelika Veddeler (Executive Secretary of Germany Region)

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