In the spirit of its guiding principle “United in Mission (UEM),” the UEM as an international community bears witness to the word of reconciliation in Jesus Christ. Within the UEM, financial resources, oversight and responsibility have been shared equally among the 39 members from Africa (15), Asia (17) and Germany (7) for almost 25 years. Cooperation with the Old Reformed Church in Germany and the umbrella organization of Protestant churches in Indonesia (PGI) is governed by an association agreement.
The internationalization initiated in 1996 has been consistently pursued over the past two decades. This also makes sense in view of the African and Asian majority within the membership structure. The General Assembly of the VEM takes place every three years. Here, the delegates from all three regions decide jointly on the use of budget funds, regardless of the fact that the largest share of donations still comes from Germany.
The trilateral integration between the members in all three regions is characteristic of the work of the VEM. Thus, the exchange of staff and young volunteers takes place not only in a north-south direction, but also in a south-north and south-south direction.
The field of education is becoming increasingly important for the work of the VEM. “Global Learning in Ecumenical Perspective” (GLEP) is the approach that seeks to ensure that internationality and diversity are taken into account and are visible in content and methods. All educational programs are therefore planned and implemented by teams with international members.
The council, with equal representation from all three regions, exercises the supervisory function and makes decisions of organizational policy significance. The chairman of the supervisory board or moderator of the UEM is currently the Indonesian theologian Willem Simarmata. The moderator is elected by the Assembly every six years, alternating with a representative from Africa, Asia and Germany.
The headquarters and the regional office in Germany are located in Wuppertal. The VEM also maintains regional offices in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Pematangsiantar (Indonesia) and in Bielefeld-Bethel.
The Africa, Asia and Germany regions are responsible for implementing the programs in the regions and manage themselves through a regional board. They hold regional meetings every three years.
In 2008, the UEM adopted a mission statement based on the five pillars of Advocacy, Social Service, Evangelism, Partnerships, and Training & Empowerment. Under this, numerous and diverse programs and projects are planned, coordinated and implemented in all three regions.
Throughout Germany, relationships are maintained and expanded with other mission agencies such as the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) and the Norddeutschen Mission, as well as with partners in the field of development cooperation such as Bread for the World.
On the international level, the UEM cooperates with ecumenical organizations such as the World Council of Churches, Lutheran World Federation, West Papua Network, Sri Lanka Advocacy, as well as with international mission agencies such as Cevaa and the Council of World Mission. In the European context, the UEM cooperates with the Waldensian Church in Italy. The UEM is a member of the Act Alliance and holder of the DZI donation seal.
As a forward-looking mission with global connections, the UEM attaches great importance to contemporary forms of communication. To this end, for example, it uses tools for online conferences and e-learning as well as digital media such as its website, e-newsletter and social media.
United in Mission (UEM)
Tel.: +49 202 89 004-0
Fax: +49 202 89 004-179