2016 - Solomon Benjamin aus der CSI
Pfarrer Solomon Paul Benjamin - Einführung als Geschäftsführer der DOAM
I Grußwort des Vorsitzenden Dekan i.R. Rainer Lamotte
II Predigt von Pfarrer Solomon P. Benjamin
Installation of Rev. Solomon Paul Benjamin as secretary of the East Asia/India Liaison desk of the EMS
Stuttgart, am 14. Oktober 2017
dear EMS – members,
dear DOAM members,
dear friends and guests,
ladies and gentlemen!
As one of the two acting chairpersons of (German East Asia Mission) DOAM I bring you greetings on behalf of our executive board and our members. Special greetings from Carsten Rostalsky, our second acting chairperson, who had to ask for regret not being able to be here today.
Solomon, after your interview on 4th of November 2015 in Stuttgart and your unanimous election as successor of Lutz Drescher a few days later by the MC you are since April 2016 in office in Stuttgart.
Today we are happy to celebrate your official installation not only as secretary of the East – Asia and India – desk in the international EMS, but also as the Executive Secretary of DOAM which by agreement of both sides is related to each other.
The start of your work within the EMS brought and brings some challenges:
1) A first challenge: In 2006, because of financial reasons, MC decided - beside other shortenings - to combine the former East – Asia – Desk and the India Desk into one position. Meanwhile there was an additional 50 % position within the CSI in India established to coordinate the relations between EMS and CSI.
Since Victor Royce was elected as bishop to the CSI in India, unfortunately this position now more than a year is vacant and hopefully will be filled soon! That means more workload within the desk and for everybody working there. Thank you all for that.
Special thanks to Gisela Köllner, more or less the centre of the East Asia desk in Stuttgart. She was at first of October this year 25 years in office. Flowers will follow!
2) There is a second challenge, Solomon. It is the first time in the history of DOAM to have an Executive Secretary coming from outside the German cultural background. You have an Indian nationality with very much international experience. You lived and worked in Great Britain, in Germany and in different places in India. You worked for more than 32 years for and within the YMCA worldwide network. You are familiar with the context of Japan, China and Korea. But the work and the activities of a by German law registered Society like DOAM is at least somehow new for you.
It is really another challenge, even more than one, because DOAM itself started at the same time with your coming a process of reorientation and reorganization, anyway a process of change.
3) I see a third challenge. During the days of the “Kirchentag”/the Church convention begin June 2015 in Stuttgart, there was a meeting of the Board of directors of DOAM with the General secretary of EMS, Jürgen Reichel. The idea was to look for possibilities, to separate again the position of the East – Asia – and the India desk. Rudi Bausch collected the arguments and prepared a motion to the MC from 5th to 7th November 2015 in Herrenberg, which I want to read:
“Report: The board of the East – Asia – Mission (DOAM) has submitted some reflections to the MC in order to contemplate new personnel structures in the East – Asia and India – Desk focusing on an increase of personnel on the level of the liaison officer. The MC referred the reflections of the DOAM to the Management Board who deliberated about the issue.
The Management Board recommends to introduce a for the time being temporary position (three years) to support the liaison officer for the East – Asia and the India – Desk. The funds to finance the position shall be obtained from the international EMS membership whereas it is proposed to obtain an ecumenical – Coworker from one of the member churches who will be seconded and financed by the sending church or a number of churches. The issue was scheduled and discussed at the last meeting of the Finance Committee on October 8, 2015.
Recommendations: The Finance Committee contemplated about the proposal by the management board and recommends further exploring the proposed options. Once a budget to finance such a position has been guaranteed it is the recommendation to Mission Council to introduce a respective position.
And at least the Motion Proposal: The MC resolved to introduce a new temporary position for a period of three years to support the liaison officer of the East – Asia and India – Desk subject to the condition that the funds to finance the position can be obtained from the international EMS membership and whereas it is proposed to obtain an ecumenical co-worker from one of the member churches who will be seconded and financed by the sending church or a number of churches.”
This motion was carried by MC in Herrenberg 5th of Nov. 2015 – nearly two years ago! It is our prayer and our hope that this motion will come in action soon.
Solomon, you see, there are many challenges. So last but not least on behalf of the DOAM governing board we are looking very much forward to a good and fruitful cooperation with you as our new executive secretary.
We wish you and your family God’s blessings for the time coming!
Die Einführung von Pfr. Solomon Benjamin fand am 14. Oktober 2017 in der Paulusgemeinde in Stuttgart statt. Für die DOAM hat Dekan i.R. Rainer Lamotte, einer von zwei amtierenden Vorsitzen den der DOAM, das obige Grußwort gesprochen.