The process of electing a new pastor for our church has come to its end with a clear and unambiguous result. We are happy to let you know that Pastorin Annika Klappert was voted to be our new Pastor with an acceptance of 82,8%. She will start working at MLC on August 1, 2021. We are grateful for your active participation and the 145 votes cast of which 20 were mail in votes and 125 email votes.
We are all called to show respect for this result. In all the deliberations and decisions, we asked God for His guidance and direction. For all involved, this was an act of trust and humility. Now we take this result from His hand and ask Him to bless all the further efforts that need to be made so that Pastor Annika Klappert can begin her ministry here in our church in August 2021.
If you have questions, as always please contact our council members to get accurate information.
Learn more about Pastor Annika Klappert in an interview with Pastor Dr. Gerhard Hille
Pastor Gerhard Hille (G.H.): Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where did you grow up? What did your family life look like when you were growing up?
Pastor Annika Klappert (A.K.): I was born in beautiful Freudenberg in the Siegerland of South Westphalia. My father is an electrical engineer and my mother is an early childhood educator. I am the middle child of 3 (big brother, little sister) and have experienced life in a church from an early age: It was important to my parents that I take part in the weekly Sunday School, later I was active in the girls’ group and attended youth retreats. After my Confirmation, I was involved in the creation of church services, for example writing and performing small theater scenes or providing musical accompaniment in the congregation band at the piano. I also worked for a while in public youth work. My parents are both highly engaged volunteers, my father presiding over the presbytery and the technical upgrade of the church, my mother in the music team and in the performances of the kindergarten.
G.H.: What were you particularly interested in as a young person and adolescent? What shaped you during this time?
A.K.: After years of classical piano lessons, in this stage of my life I taught myself how to accompany songs with chords and learned the basics of playing the guitar through my mother. I spent entire afternoons listening to pop songs over and over and figuring out how the harmony works. I was also a member of the volleyball club for years, although my motor skills outside of music are rather mediocre. During this stage, of course, my childhood friendships were also very formative for me and getting my driver’s license at 18 brought the great freedom to spend my free time outside of the local village!
G.H.: What made you study theology?
A.K.: In the years after my Confirmation, I experienced more and more that the traditional and unique devoutness in the area of my home congregation narrowed my mind rather than inspired my questions about God. I wanted to find out more about the roots and history of the Christian religion and to know if there are other ways to live my faith. Thankfully, studying theology gave me exactly the breadth that I needed to find my own points of view and to be able to justify them.
G.H.: What do you particularly like about your job as a pastor?
A.K.: That I constantly get to know interesting people who are in different life situations! It moves me when I experience in a conversation how the person across from me opens up, lets me participate in his or her story, the thoughts and feelings that are currently there. To be able to accompany other people to a certain extent, be it in happy moments such as a wedding or baptism or in a phase of mourning or illness, I find it very valuable and I am happy when I, as a Pastor, through listening, silence, praying or a blessing, can give assistance.
G.H.: What made you apply for our pastoral position?
A.K.: Even on paper, the Martin Luther Church congregation made an incredibly diverse and lively impression on me – there are so many different interesting groups and projects! I am also attracted by the strong social welfare causes that characterize the MLC. I believe that the Christian faith, in addition to praying, singing and studying the Bible together, also includes looking at one’s neighbour outside of one’s own church walls. I would like to join in and learn from you.
G.H.: Which perspectives do you bring with you and which priorities of pastoral work would you like to set?
A.K.: In my training and first years as a pastor I intensely got to know all fields of pastoral work in a total of three different congregations. I was able to set my own priorities, on the one hand in child and youth work, among other things with the organization and design of children’s Bible weeks and experiential Confirmation work. On the other hand, I also really enjoyed accompanying seniors, for example regularly organizing afternoons in women’s groups and senior circles as well as special projects such as the pilgrimage for people using walkers. Through my work with young adults between the ages of 20-35 in the Münster student congregation, I also bring the perspective of the next generation of church members with me, which we already have to take into account in our communities so that the church as a place of community and faith has a future.
G.H.: What was your first impression of our congregation after the “application marathon” on the weekend of February 27 and 28?
A.K.: Despite the somewhat bizarre digital situation, I quickly felt comfortable around you and, thanks to the great openness and relaxed togetherness, I had the feeling: I can be myself here! I was impressed how in the MLC members of different age groups and with different cultural or ethnic origins have obviously found their spiritual home and contribute to the congregation in a confident, humorous and concrete way.
G.H.: What do you do when you are not busy with “church” matters? What are your interests?
A.K.: In my spare time I spend a lot of time catching up with friends and family. When I have spare time, I let off steam with my instruments and in the lockdown times I have come to appreciate longer walks in the nearby forest. In order to counteract the work that is often sedentary in my job, I also try to keep myself fit with yoga and Pilates. And I like to try out new recipes with my partner!