Germany: 50 Years of Mission Work – The Nürnberg Community
by Dietmar Jorde – Bernhard Leyer, FFWPU Germany
About one year ago, we became aware of a report in which a short mention was made of the fact that in September 1970 Paul and Christel Werner established centers in Nürnberg and Heidelberg. Thus, we realized that 2020 would be a golden anniversary year. Then Hans-Jürgen Hutzfeld sent us a copy of the diary of the first missionary to Nürnberg: Annemarie Müller (later: Annemarie Bichsel).
She described her arrival in Nürnberg on 3 October 1970 at 11.00 with Paul and Christel Werner and how they found and moved into the first community center in 4 Bärenschanzstraße, on 17 October 1970.
Bernhard Leyer organized a program to celebrate the fifty-year anniversary of these historical events-a program which was unfortunately limited due to the corona restrictions.
First event: Walking round the Nürnberg city wall three times: Friday, 2 October 2020 – 18.00: Six of our members set off to fulfil the symbolic condition- surely already envisioned by Annemarie Müller in those days-to spiritually conquer the city.
Four hours after setting off and into the night-time, we finished walking round the city walls three times. It took a lot of physical effort, but we finally did it.
Second event: Commemorative service at the Holy Ground in the Nürnberg City Park on 3. October 2020, 11.00.
The Holy Ground is visible on looking straight ahead from this family sculpture. Eight members met at this mighty oak tree. Bernhard hat a photo of Annemarie and in prayer and songs played from a smartphone, we commemorated the time when Annemarie laid the foundation for further mission work in Nürnberg.
Third event: Worship service on 4 October, 10.00 in the community center. Twelve members participated by zoom in the service which was being held in Camberg as part of a national meeting, restricted to city leaders due to corona. The title of Dieter Schmidt’s sermon was: ‚We must go!’
Following this, Bernhard offered some remarks on the topic: ‘Back to the Pioneer Spirit!’ and read aloud from one of Annemarie Müller’s letters.
In this letter she referred to Albrecht Dürer as a ‚true Nuernberger “, who very sensitively embraced the Zeitgeist. He did not finish painting his picture‚ Christus, Salvator Mundi“ in the knowledge-whether conscious or not-that Jesus Christ was not able to complete his task.
Fourth and final event: meeting on October 17 at 10.00 in the first community center in 4 Bärenschanzstraße:
On the spot where the original apartment building had been, we found the huge complex of the Protestant University, founded in 1995. In front of the entrance is a small area with a tree encircled by three benches-just right for a small commemorative service. Seven members met here to silently contemplate the foundation and all the spiritual guidance given to the Nürnberg community. Then followed another short reading from Annemarie’s diary before Bernhard laid a bouquet of roses and some words of dedication at the small base of the tree.
We left some literature, including the autobiography of our True Father, in the University entrance hall, thus bringing to a close the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the beginnings of the missionary work in Nürnberg on 3 October 1970.