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Community and Partnerships in Tübingen, Germany

Tony Cole is following his call to find new ways to communicate old truths to university students in Tübingen, Germany, as part of Unterwegs, the Globalscope campus ministry team. He puts his background in philosophy and theology to work with his love for bread making and good conversation in order to pass on the welcome of God we know in Jesus. When he isn't working with students, you'll find Tony in the mountains, cooking with friends, or reading in a pub. Here he talks about the importance of partnering with local churches.

"loved church today :’)"  - A simple text after a not-so-simple day.

Our work with students is deeply committed to partnership.

We aren't convinced we have all the knowledge, energy, personality, or insight to be able to partner with students effectively on our own. Some of our deepest partnerships are with local churches.

I preached last week in one of them - the Church of St. James, which also happens to be my home church here. I've been a part of a team in our church who has developed a new monthly gathering for folks in our town between the ages of 20-40, a fairly underrepresented group in most churches in our area. We've been at it for 1 ½ years and have been able to build community for about 130 folks from a variety of backgrounds.

Last week, our team "took over" the normal Sunday morning service. We got to rearrange the room a bit, include a bit more guidance in the liturgy for folks who didn't grow up with that, and invite a few folks who might benefit from a bit more hospitality in a church environment.

A student named Sara came, because after meeting with my teammate, Katie, for the last few months, she has reawakened her desire to engage with the faith of her childhood. Saying yes to faith has led her to try saying yes to church. Saying yes to church also meant that she was one of 3 people who raised her hand at the end of service when someone asked the 300-person group if some folks could help wash the coffee cups after service. "We do that at Unterwegs too," she said to me when I asked why she volunteered. "Part of having community is doing the dishes."

Sara texted those three simple words a few hours after church, a sign that she was still treasuring this new experience.

Our work here in Tübingen is a complicated network of stories and relationships, each so worth telling and so worth hearing.

campus ministry, Germany, Globalscope, Tony Cole, Tübingen, Unterwegs

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