Netherlands: connecting congregations for better understanding

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kerk in Actie Interactive is a programme that aims to increase involvement between local congregations and partner organisations and churches abroad.

Kerk in Actie believes that Christians form a worldwide church; we are connected to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Together, people have received the commission to work on peace and justice and to create a world without poverty. Everyone does this in their own location and own way but needs to learn from each other and take interest in each other’s lives.

Congregations of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands feel the need to be personally connected with the people of a partner organisation or church abroad. They are interested in the work that the organisations do. Kerk in Actie tries to shape a relationship between the Dutch congregation(s) and the partner organisation of church abroad in which mutuality, respect and mutual involvement can be expressed.

There are several possibilities to fill in the relationship. That depends on the wishes and possibilities of the Dutch congregation(s) and the partner organisations and churches abroad. The most intensive form is visits from the members of partner organisation to Dutch congregations or from members of Dutch congregations to partner organisations abroad. It is also possible to read the Bible together and share opinions and experiences by e-mail.

A Dutch congregation in connection with Papua
One such example is that of the Protestant Congregation Twello which has launched a programme to work for three years with the women’s centre of the Evangelic Church in Papua (P3W).

February 7, 2010, was the start of this interactive relation between Twello en P3W. Papuans living in the Netherlands joined the service in the church. A Papua choir sang and made music. There was a direct telephone connection between Marijke Werimon-Bakker, who works for almost 40 years in Papua in the women centre P3W. The church members collected money for the project. At the end of the service, pastor Egbert Fokkema and ds. Hokojoku (Papua) blessed the people in their own language.

Afterwards, people could meet each other and watch an exposition of all kind of objects of Papua. This inspiring meeting and service promises the best for the years to come. It makes people feel more connected with each other as Christians worldwide.