Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mennonitischer Gemeinden in Deutschland (AMG)
The Arbeitsgemeinschaft deutscher Mennonitengemeinden (AdM) (Task Force of the German Mennonite Churches) is an organization that sought ways to increase cooperation among German Mennonites, specifically the Verband deutscher Mennonitengemeinden and the Vereinigung der deutschen Mennonitengemeinden. Already in 1934 representatives of the Mennonite youth had declared "We, the young Mennonites, are at a loss to understand how our responsible brethren have been unable to come to a mutual understanding. We pray to the Lord for clarity, courage, and obedience in the decisions that lie ahead." In the Mennonitisches Jahrbuch 1976, Hans-Adolf Hertzler wrote: "There should be possibilities to meet each other, favorable moments for talking and thinking together." These ideas did not remain unnoticed. In 1980, Paul Schwan, from Stuttgart, suggested that an institution responsible for the interests of all Mennonites be established. The first contacts between representatives of the "Verband" and " Vereinigung " took place 27 May 1981; at a second meeting in Neuwied a year later (4-6 June 1982), Bernd Dyck submitted new ideas for a renewed approach. The most important part of his remarks was the assertion that "the witness of brotherly love that is lived out counts more than the best confession of faith. Without active brotherly love we are liars and hypocrites. "
Two inter-Mennonite meetings of German Mennonites are evidence of successful attempts for further approach. One took place in 1983 at Espelkamp under the theme, "There is Only One Lord, but We are Sisters and Brothers." At the other one, in 1985 at Neuwied, the topic was "Live Differently." The merger of two periodicals, Gemeinde Unterwegs (Verband), and the Mennonitische Blätter (Vereinigung) followed: Brücke - Mennonitisches Gemeindeblatt (Bridge) has been published since January 1985.
Regular meetings between seven representatives each of the Verband and the Vereinigung were held after 1982. The AdM was incorporated in June 1986. It served not only the purpose of cooperation between the Verband and the Vereinigung, but also among other Mennonite groups of the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin, aiming toward the establishment of a comprehensive conference of German Mennonite churches.
The Arbeitsgemeinschaft zur geistlichen Unterstützung in Mennonitengemeinden, a task force for the spiritual support in resettler (Umsiedler) churches, has withdrawn from the AdM. This is one of the reasons for the resignation of Gerhard Hildebrand one of the AdM's two chairpersons in April 1980. Adolf Schnebele, president of the Verband, and Heinold Fast, president of the Vereinigung, were chairpersons of the AdM in the late 1980s.
In 1990 the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mennonitischer Gemeinden in Deutschland (AMG) was founded. It included three regional conferences with 52 congregations: Vereinigung der Deutschen Mennonitengemeinden (VDM) in the North, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Südwestdeutscher Mennonitengemeinden (ASM) in the Southwest and the Verband deutscher Mennoniten-Gemeinden (VdM) in the South.
In 2010 the following congregations were members of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mennonitischer Gemeinden in Deutschland (AMG):
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 33-34. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Wedel, Oskar. "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mennonitischer Gemeinden in Deutschland (AMG)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2010. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A725.html.
APA style: Wedel, Oskar. (June 2010). Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mennonitischer Gemeinden in Deutschland (AMG). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A725.html.