Friday, January 22, 2010


CONTACT: John Spangler 717-338-3010

ELCA Wittenberg Center to Move, Establishes New Staffing Arrangement
by *John Brooks, ELCA News Service

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Wittenberg (Germany) Center will move its offices to another location in the German city and employ the Rev. Scott A. Moore to be part-time coordinator who will also represent the ELCA in the observance of the "Luther Decade."
     The future viability of the center was in doubt this past October when it was announced that the center's two directors, the Rev. Stephen E. and Dr. Jean Godsall-Myers, would end their service at the center Nov. 30, 2009.  The decision was the result of "harsh budget realities," said the Rev. Robert O. Smith, continental desk director for Europe and the Middle East, ELCA Global Mission.

     A proposal for the center's future was accepted by an advisory committee for the center.  The Rev. Moore, an ELCA pastor and 1997 graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, has been named the center's coordinator and ELCA Luther Decade representative.  He recently completed a six-year call with ELCA Global Mission when he served as pastor of a Lutheran congregation in Lutherstadt Eisleben, Germany.  He will soon begin doctoral studies in Germany.
     "I'm very excited to be in this place at this time. It's something I'm eager to do," said Moore in a phone interview with the ELCA News Service. "It's extremely important for our German partners that we have a presence there among them in these historic Luther sites, especially in Wittenberg."
     Moore, who lives in nearby Ehrfurt, will serve 10 hours per week at the center and visit Wittenberg at least every two weeks.  Among his duties he will facilitate relationships with German church partners and institutions in Wittenberg, promote the center, maintain donor relationships, assist and coordinate activities for visiting groups, and engage in strategic planning.

     "It's good to have an (ELCA) presence in Germany in this decade as we have the opportunity to reflect for ourselves about our heritage and our future," Moore added.  The Wittenberg center is one of four ELCA designated international learning centers, along with the Gettysburg Seminary’s Luther Institute in Washington, DC, the International Center in Bethlehem, Palestine, and the International Center in Mexico City, Mexico.

     The Luther Decade, launched in Wittenberg in 2008, is a significant component of the Wittenberg Center's mission. The decade includes a series of events and observances leading to 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
     The new plan calls for the Wittenberg Center to move into a newly renovated space at Colleg (correct) Wittenberg, a facility primarily for study-abroad programs of North American college and universities. Colleg Wittenberg has guest rooms and space for group seminars.
     Haug added that the ELCA churchwide organization will be working to connect the center with other expressions of the church, including congregations, colleges and universities, and seminaries.
     Renate Skirl, administrative assistant for the Wittenberg Center, will end her service on April 1 and join Christian Tours, Europe, Smith wrote in the Wittenberg Center proposal.  Christian Tours will provide a separate entrance and sign for the ELCA Wittenberg Center, and will maintain various ELCA resources at the center, he wrote.  "As ELCA groups utilize the Colleg Wittenberg and the services of Christian Tours, they will have full access to these resources," Smith wrote.


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