- A Piece of Heaven

A Piece of Heaven

On Saturday, May 10, people of all nations and colors filled the city of Biel. The most varied cultures and languages met at the AGiK Celebration 2014 of the SEA Intercultural Working Group (AGiK) to celebrate God together and experience a piece of heaven on earth.

At the same time, the general assembly of SEA and the Réseau évangélique suisse RES took place.
The Résau évangelique suisse RES officially accepted AGiK as a working group on that day. 

Thus, AGiK has now become a national working group. 

The meetings on that day were interpreted into four languages: German and French from the podium, Spanish and English via headphones. The German-French interpreting was carried out by AVL interpreters. 

Impressions of the AGiK Celebration
Medis communications SEA
Professional articles on the conference in the attachments

Media Report Livenet:

Intercultural Churches

Consideration and Vision are Needed when Living in a Community 

The community of Christians from different cultures was the focus of the AGiK Celebration 2014 in Biel. Two reports from intercultural churches showed what a cross-cultural community needs to succeed. 

Visitors from many nations visited the Celebration 2014 of the SEA Intercultural Working Group (AGiK).
People of different races and colors filled Biel last Saturday.  "No less than 140 international languages are spoken in this city" Kurt Zaugg, Section President of Alliance Biel, explained at the Celebration 2014 of the SEA Intercultural Working Group (AGiK) of May 10. The celebration was a colorful festival of Christians from various nations.  

Building Bridges between Cultures

"Five different ethnic churches meet in our rooms," said Christian Bussy, pastor of the Église apostolique de Genève. The Evangelical Alliance in Geneva eanted to build bridges between cultures. Julio Oquendo from Cuba, pastor of the Geneva church Las Buenas Nuevas, (ILBN) and board member of the West Swiss Réseau évangélique Suisse (RES), organizes intercultural church services. He has been living in Switzerland for the last 16 years and has a heart for unity. He spoke fo a joint Alliance church service last winter with Latinos and African immigrants. The praise and worship was in Spanish, the preacher from South America. "A wonderful event!" said Oquendo. "As a church, we are a part of God's work in Switzerland. We aren't a ghetto." You can't create unity on your own, it is made "by God."

Churches are Marked by Culture

Christian Bussy, Julio Oquendo and interpreter Annette von Lerber
Johannes Müller, Manager of the network African Link, explained that the AGiK Celebration wanted to show examples of how intercultural communities can be lived out in a city or within churches: "Why do we need intercultural initiatives? Because migration also takes place where you don't expect it or where people want to prevent it." Monocultural churches concentrate on their own culture, for example an Ethiopian church. Forms are mixed in intercultural churches. "This is the case of an international church, for example, where the songs on Sunday are sung in four languages," Müller explained. Multicultural churches consist of different culturally characterized groups who each have their own programm. The multicultural Vineyard Aarau also has an Eritrean group. The three forms are often mixed.

The Example of Vineyard Aarau

Regina Volkart from Vineyard Aarau taught German as a foreign language. That's how she came into contact with Tedros Kidane, who led a group of Eritrean Christians, and who then joined her. When the Eritrean group began to get larger and larger, they both looked for a long-term solution. The doors at Vineyard Aarau stood wide open: "You shouldn't just be our guests; we want to create a community with you." 

The Eritrean group's programm is quite varied: Bible teaching, prayer, the weekly service and evangelizations are all a part of it. The Vineyard community, on the other hand, is focused on missional groups in the neighborhood. The teenagers from both groups meet together once a month. Prayer meetings, barbecues and several church services are  carried out together. "The food and the way of thinking of Eritreand and Swiss are different," Kidane summarizes; "We need lots of patience with each other and a forward vision." 

Photos AGiK Celebration & DV SEA

Date: 12.05.2014 
Author: Christian Bachmann
Source: Livenet