Who is the host church?
Established in 1534, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Württemberg is one of the oldest churches of the Reformation.
It has the historical and theological particularity of being geographically located between the Lutheran and Zwinglian spheres of influence and therefore, from the very beginning, had a role as mediator between the two. To this very day, this is recognizable in the simple “service of the word” in Upper German and in a unique catechism that is Lutheran-based but markedly influenced by Württemberg reformer Johannes Brenz.
An important element of the church’s spiritual identity is the right of residence of Pietists within the church. It was guaranteed by the general Pietist rescript of 1743 and renewed in 1992.
Today, the Württemberg church encompasses the former Kingdom of Württemberg and several congregations that had been Prussian until 1945. It has nearly 2.3 million members in 1,441 congregations and 48 “deaneries” (church districts), served by around 2,500 pastors.
The church synod, the only one in Germany that is elected directly, consists of 60 lay people and 30 ordained pastors. Bishop Dr Frank Otfried July has led the church since 2005.
Formation and diakonia are important concerns for the regional church. The present theological focus is on questions about baptism in theory and practice, as well as on the topic “worship.”