The Inter-European Region Female Pastors Meet in Friedensau for the First Time

The lovely green campus of Friedensau Adventist University near Berlin, Germany, provided a convenient environment for the first European Female Pastors Convention from June 2-6, 2019.

After years of considering an event like this the vision finally became reality. Female Adventist Pastors from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland came together. We missed representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Romania and Spain.

The Convention was prepared by Inter-European Region of the Seventh-day Adventists (EUD) Ministerial Association and Family Ministries Director Rainer Wanitschek and his wife Elvira, Shepherdess Director, administratively and friendly assisted by Rebecca Dierolf.

Support coming from the Women’s Ministries Department was demonstrated by Dagmar Dorn ( EUD) and Angelika Pfaller (Germany). We highly appreciated the affirming presence of EUD President Mario Brito, Johannes Naether, President of the North German Union and Daniel Vicente, Ministerial Director of the Portuguese Union who accompanied the female Pastors from Portugal. The German Publishing House Advent-Verlagwas represented by its Director Jessica Schultka.

For nearly a week all female Pastors were part of a quite ambitious and high quality program, presented by gifted professional women like Esther Knott, Director of the In Ministry Center and Associate Director, NAD Ministerial, from the U.S., who shared her personal experiences as a female Pastor in an expressive, touching and encouraging manner.

Piroska Vranyakne-Feith from Perth, Australia, presented an enthralling lecture on the subject of Spiritual Discipline for Leaders, vividly and humorously illustrating how males and females differ in the way shaping leading positions.

An excursion took us to famous Pergamon museum in Berlin where we admired Nebukadnezar’s Ishtar gate and to the sites of Martin Luther in the town of Wittenberg. We enjoyed an instructive but very hot day (the air condition in the bus was out of order). Simone Emmert, attorney, teaching Law at Friedensau, referred on dignity and equality of women, sexual abuse, women’s rights and discrimination.

Claudia Sokolis-Bochmann, wife of an Adventist Pastor and a Baptist Pastor herself, took us into her life as a woman who received the call to become a Pastor and had to overcome many obstacles and detours finally being allowed to pastoral work. Her story conformed to the experience of the majority of the female Pastors present.

We all are convinced of our call to the Ministry. And this divine mission has been suppressed and doubted by people in our Church. The pain and suffering due to this kind of discrimination was felt vividly, even bursting out in tears.

“I am not alone, as the most shared conviction when we as female Pastors parted as friends who love each other and are loved by God, thankful for these days of encouragement and exchange in a wonderful warm atmosphere” said Heidemarie Klingeberg, Pastor, Munich, Germany. “We will keep in touch and are looking forward to the next female Pastors meeting. And one day we shall overcome!”

Photo credits: Rebecca Dierolf

This article was written by Heidemarie Klingeberg and originally appeared on the Inter-European Division website.

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Great initiative by the Europeans. A gigantic step forward. And I am glad that they had no difficulty using the word “discrimination .”

I remember when, a few years ago, I started characterizing the anti-WO position (here) as being “discrimination,” and a few people criticized me for that. I stood firm, continuing the use of that word to describe an insane psychological need of those males who denied women their full rights. I am glad now many more people understand that it is, indeed, nothing but discrimination.

I wonder if Dr. Andreas Bochmann @andreas will provide us with more details about this conference, since he teaches at Friedensau.


G –
This has certain Shadows of another Commenting Site – Racism in the SDA
The OLD Equal but Separate ideas in the U.S.
It is refreshing to see a change. Equal AND Togetherness beginning to develop
at least in certain parts of the World Wide SDA communities.

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I have two younger sisters. My parents trained all of us to stand on our own two feet. But two stories on how my sisters handled self identity.

Mother has hostipalized, dad had a nanny to care for meals etc. The youngest was preschool. The maid though too young to eat peas without running them through strainer. Following the meal she found the youngest in the kitchen eating the strained out shells. The
maid said don’t eat that. to which the preschooler said, well it’s our kitchen isn’t it?

The older sister caught up to me by WW II, We Wentthrough dental school together and graduate school in Orthodontics. AAfter a stint at LLU she was teaching part time at Southern Cal. At a faculty meeting the male chair of the Ortho department said in an open faculty meeting that women never could be as skilled as men in the technology of Orthodontics. A direct slap,at my sister. She stood and said, I can do anything better than you except stand up and pee. She became the hero of the moment and lauded for her retort. Pastor Wilson take note the only separate facility is the bathroom. The pulpit is open to competence not reserved for any gender.


Tom –
Those last 2 statements are a treasure! Great!


Unfortunately, the deciders in a voting event at he GC come from other parts of the world where discrimination is not seen as a sin.


Brilliant literary production!!! :+1: :+1: :+1:


As we read the history of the Christian church in Acts we Do Find that they were
OK with 2 perspectives of organization.
One for the Jewish believers
One for the Gentile believers
And it was successful because we are part of it.
Perhaps it would be OK to do like the Jerusalem church did.


Actually, @George, I can’t offer that much, as I didn’t attend those meetings. For me it wasn’t that spectecular either. It is a normal outgrowth from the employment situation. I commend the EUD for offering this kind of training / convention, but would be rather concerned, if they didn’t.

      • we missed representatives from Austria - -

Hey, welcome back! I’m pleased seeing you here again! Missed your valuable input!


For those who know a bit more about Austrian Adventists - so just missing representatives - this is no surprise.

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I can’t believe that one of my favorite countries (Viva Vienna!!!) has been neglected like that. What is actually the problem? Can you give us an idea of the reasons for this lack of representation? There must be one…

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