Sitemap|Sprechen Sie deutsch?
Page 1 | 2 | 3

Founding and Growth

The completion of the first Act of Consecration of Man constituted the birth of The Christian Community. It was preceded by the immeasurable and selfless help of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), whose science of the spirit, Anthroposophy, is an essential component of theology for priests in The Christian Community.

read on...
Founding and Growth

The completion of the first Act of Consecration of Man constituted the birth of The Christian Community. It was preceded by the immeasurable and selfless help of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), whose science of the spirit, Anthroposophy, is an essential component of theology for priests in The Christian Community. The founders of The Christian Community, including Friedrich Rittelmeyer and Emil Bock, had questions about the renewal of Christianity that led to the creation of The Christian Community in Europe in 1922. It is not an “anthroposophical church,” although it is the only Christian church whose clergy recognize Anthroposophy and have accepted it as a decisive aid for the broadening and renewal of theology.

From the start, The Christian Community has been an independent sacramental community, without attachment to any existing church or ecumenical movement. It views Christianity as universal and sees its singular greatness as something that should not be distorted by an overemphasis on sectarian teaching or behavioral codes. While The Christian Community does not claim to be a church for everyone, it is certainly not exclusive and welcomes, without regard to race, gender or sexual orientation, all who are looking for a church that combines sacramental integrity with freedom of belief.

The Christian Community was founded in 1922 as an independent Christian church (see the page entitled Background) to develop a spiritually open, inspiring and effective new religious mood.

Initially communities were founded in Germany, Austria and the German part of Switzerland. Within the first few years the movement spread to the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia. While these countries had their own languages and culture, their historical and cultural ties to German-speaking Central Europe were strong. To carry the work into the English-speaking countries was a further step, and in 1929 The Christian Community began in London.

In Germany and the occupied countries The Christian Community came to the attention of the Nazi Regime for its powerful spirit of freedom and its development of a truly Christian idea of the becoming human being. This resulted in its being banned, its priests were arrested, books confiscated, and its services forbidden. The Christian Community continued working in Switzerland, Great Britain and Sweden during this time.

In Germany in 1945, The Christian Community was newly founded at Pentecost. Communities grew up in all the large German cities. In 1948 the decisive step was taken to move beyond Europe and found The Christian Community in America. Then in 1960s the work started in South America and in South Africa. In 1988 the movement spread to Australia and New Zealand, and in 2000 to Japan.

There are communities in many English-speaking countries, including Great Britain and Ireland, USA and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia, as well as in Europe in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Georgia, and further afield in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Japan.



Structure

The Christian Community consists of independent congregations. The priests in each congregation have responsibility for what should take place sacramentally in their community. Priests' teaching arises from their priestly experience and insights, and is not required to conform to any dogmatic structure.

read on...
Structure

The Christian Community consists of independent congregations. The priests in each congregation have responsibility for what should take place sacramentally in their community. Priests' teaching arises from their priestly experience and insights, and is not required to conform to any dogmatic structure.

In social and financial realms, priests and lay people work together to form a board of trustees and initiative groups. The community does not choose (elect) priests; they are appointed by the leadership of The Christian Community.

Congregations in a geographic area are joined in a "region". Legally each congregation or several congregations in a region are incorporated as nonprofit (charitable) organizations. Priests are financially supported, not according to performance, age, seniority, or educational background, but according to the resources of the congregation and the needs of the priest and his or her family. The vocation of priest is full time. There are several levels of responsibility within the circle of priests to enable helpful cooperation and oversight:

  • priests in the congregations
  • regional coordinators for the guidance of the work in the regions
  • central coordinators for the guidance of The Christian Community worldwide (the headquarters is in Berlin, Germany).
"If we allow the thought of letting the spiritual world partake of what we own, this will have the effect of changing and redeeming all of social life."

William Kelber



Membership

"You are the salt of the earth." Matthew 5:13

The kind of person who can no longer find what he or she is seeking in existing traditional forms of religion, or who has become disillusioned with Christianity, can feel stimulated towards a renewed search through contact with The Christian Community.

read on...
Membership

"You are the salt of the earth." Matthew 5:13

The kind of person who can no longer find what he or she is seeking in existing traditional forms of religion, or who has become disillusioned with Christianity, can feel stimulated towards a renewed search through contact with The Christian Community.

In many cases this begins with a sampling of the life of the community, and taking part in everything that takes place, without committing oneself. If The Christian Community becomes a strengthening source of inner renewal, then the step of becoming an active participant in the congregation will follow quite naturally.

The decision to formally become a member of The Christian Community is a further step, one that only an adult is mature enough to make. In The Christian Community, children who are baptized are not automatically members, although seen as fully belonging to the community until they can make their own decision about where they feel at home spiritually. The timing and circumstances of the decision to become a member are individual and unique. Members are not required to subscribe to articles of faith. What is required is a sense of belonging in The Christian Community as one's spiritual home.

Conversations with the priest help to prepare for the step into membership, and to clarify this mature, free decision, and its importance for the future. Formal membership includes signing a membership book in the presence of a priest.

Further reading

The Christian Community, Louise Madsen, Floris Books.



Financial Considerations

The Christian Community is financially independent and meets its expenses solely through the voluntary contributions and donations from its members and friends. Those who are committed to supporting its work pledge a regular monthly amount. Other possibilities include contributing to collections after services and events, making donations, and leaving legacies.

read on...
Financial Considerations

The Christian Community is financially independent and meets its expenses solely through the voluntary contributions and donations from its members and friends. Those who are committed to supporting its work pledge a regular monthly amount. Other possibilities include contributing to collections after services and events, making donations, and leaving legacies.

Members and friends themselves determine the amount of their contributions
  • according to their gratitude for the work of The Christian Community;
  • according to the needs of the congregation, and the whole movement, which are reported during the course of the year;
  • according to the financial ability of each individual.
Congregations contribute to a central fund from which expenses can be met for
  • the coordination of the work in the region;
  • the expansion of the work of The Christian Community;
  • the furtherance of priest training;
  • the support of retired priests and their dependents, as well as for other centrally administered tasks.
Depending on the country, there may be tax benefits for all contributions. Inquire locally.

Page 1 | 2 | 3