A few years ago, our German Partnership Team embarked in a new initiative to bring people together. This time we embarked to bring together German and American high school students to visit one another’s homes.
In the Summer of 2016, that vision came to reality as several of our Central Ohio UCC churches hosted ten students and two pastors from Westphalia in Germany. This past July, our ten students and two chaperones journeyed to Westphalia for two weeks in the homes of our German friends.
Last Summer we hosted a Germans group and worked at St. John Evangelical Protestant UCC, Columbus, at their Largest Table feeding ministry. Westerville UCC, David’s UCC in Canal Winchester, and Dublin Community UCC all hosted events so that our visitors could experience a wide range of the work of the UCC church in central Ohio.
For a taste of Ohio culture, we took trips to Hocking Hills, a lake near Springfield, the Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and the Ohio River. They also experienced plenty of backyard BBQ’s and lots of family life while living with local host families.
In Germany this July we stayed in the homes of our friends, visited Cologne, Bremerhaven, Eisenach and Berlin. We experienced the 500th Anniversary of Luther and the Reformation. We climbed countless church spires and ate just as many bratwursts. To read more about our experiences, please read our blog posts (which were also translated into German).
An experience like this, over the course of two years (two weeks of travel each summer) fusing religious, cultural and faith learnings is a remarkable and life-changing opportunity. Students experience home-life, culture and the life of the church in another country aimed at developing their leadership potential. We came to learn about the German Church and trust that our German friends now have had an introduction to the American United Church of Christ.
We have called this the first generation of Young Ambassadors in Ohio and we fully intend to have the Second Generation in 2019-2020.
Rev. Bob Tussing & Sharon Pace
Young Ambassador Leaders
Dublin Community Church UCC