July 02, 2006

Erna Friesen - “The Life and Faith of Dietrich Bonhoeffer”

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Sermon Recording: Download


Erna Friesen spoke on "The Life and Faith of Dietrich Bonhoeffer". Erna and John recently returned from a European trip which focused on Bonhoeffer. Since the small group which met before our fellowship began 20 years ago studied Bonhoeffer's Life Together , Erna suggested that this is an appropriate time for us to reflect on our spiritual life together. Bonhoeffer felt that spiritual life must be rooted and active in and responsive to real life. Trained in music, theology and intellectual history, Bonhoeffer argued that the church should be "Christ existing in community". Although he came from a wealthy family, he became sensitive to poverty, concluding that the church is only as strong as its weakest members. His thinking on Christ was grounded in scriptures (Hebrews 1, John 1, Colossians 1 were read) which proclaim the absolute centrality of Christ as the creator and sustainer of all things. Unable to reform his spiritual tradition, Bonhoeffer eventually formed a Confessing Church as an alternative to the state church. His desire for this church to speak out against society's treatment of Jews, homosexuals, the mentally ill, gypsies, etc. brought him into conflict with Hitler's policies and eventually cost him his life. One of Bonhoeffer's challenges to us is that we also need to see past our societal pressures against speaking out on ethical issues, all the while keeping our focus on Christ. John concluded the service by reading the last thing written by Bonhoeffer, a benedictory poem. [JEK]


Passage: Heb 1:2, Rev 4:11, Jn 1:3, 10, Jn 8:31-2
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event: Christian Citizenship Sunday
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Erna Friesen
Worship Leader: John Friesen
Song Leader: Paul Thiessen
Pianist: Susie Funk
Usher: Henry Neufeld
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