Hoping to be Church in the original sense of the word, the members of the Basisgemeinde (basic ecclesial community) consider themselves part of God’s people dispersed over the whole earth, who take the word and way of Jesus seriously and allow their lives to be shaped by the new order outlined in the Sermon on the Mount. The community lives as a small cell within the great organism of the Body of Christ, rejoicing in close relationships with other communities.
The Basisgemeinde is a Christian community of about 50 people – adults and children – situated in a small village in northern Germany. The community started in 1973 in southern Germany and moved to the property of a former children's home in 1983 in order to establish a common work. Since then members and guests of the community have lived and worked within the community. Working together in a loving way is an important part of the community’s life witness.
We consider all the different kinds of work we do as equal in value and importance as they are all service and contribution to a common whole: the production of wooden play equipmentfor kindergartens in our workshop, the distribution of these throughout Germany, maintenance, administration, kitchen and our own kindergarten.
Following the example of the early Christians, all members of the community share what they have – money and possessions, time and responsibility. Together they carry the responsibility for the life of the community, and each step is taken in unity with each other.
„Witness“ in the New Testament means that which we represent with our lives and make visible with our bodies. Through the giving of our lives in discipleship we hope to manifest the peace and life God promised to the whole world. Peace and justice point to the new society in which people live in a new relationship with God, with their fellow human beings and with the natural world as God’s creation.
On this basis the Christian Church begins to live out God’s peace and justice in such an inviting way, that the nations of this world stop and listen, that they decide to forge their swords into plowshares, having no desire to learn war any more (Isaiah 2). Therefore the mission of the Basisgemeinde is in the first place that of being church as meant originally by Jesus. Taking the Sermon on the Mount seriously, trying to be open to the will of God also means to be open as community for seeking people, for people with special needs, for those who feel called to be disciples of Jesus.
The community is involved in the neighbourhood, in ecological and political movements and connected to a web of Christian communities all over the world. We have intensive contact with a basic ecclesial community in El Salvador.
Since 1990 the Basisgemeinde has lived in Prenzlauer Berg in a small community, with the same spirit but with different tasks and daily work.
All these activites were born out of the desire to be guided by God. We have daily times of prayer, of reading the Gospel and of silence together. Living our faith is not only a matter of a Sunday service but is the centre of all our activities.
We invite those who want to get to know our community life to get in contact with us.
Below are some links to articles in English.