Signs of life in Europe.

Author:Yeager, Gregory
Position:Letter to the Editor

Robert Louis Wilken's experience in Germany--conveyed in "The Church as Culture" (April)--led me to reflect on my own experience in Europe. During my exchange year in Bavaria, my family and I encountered both the moldering bones of Christendom and surprising outbreaks of some sort of renewal.

We were not impressed by most of the worship services we encountered--as intellectual as we fancied ourselves, we found the services all too heady, dry, and uninspired. Our more heidenisch friends longed for spiritual community, but just could not find a home in the Church. >From what we could tell, this was a problem for the entire European Church.

On a visit to Erlangen, however, our eyes were opened to something new. In a former elementary school on a former U.S. military base, the Bavarian Lutheran Church had established an experimental congregation along contemporary evangelical lines, complete with a praise band, a casually dressed pastor, even a place for kid's play at the back. Just as you'd imagine, the place was full of young European families, the kind that may or may not care if the European Union's constitution speaks of Christianity but who certainly do care that God loves them and who respond to that love. Whether these young Christians can establish a culture that...

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