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gemeinde vers

Gemeinde im Schatten von Wolkenkratzern zu sein, ist keine einfache Angelegenheit. Anders als in Deutschland, wo fast kein Gebäude den Kirchturm überragt, verschwinden die Kirchen von Manhattan im Vergleich zu den riesigen Türmen der Finanz- und Bankenwelt. Obwohl es in New York ungefähr 2400 Kirchen gibt, nimmt man sie in dieser lauten und hektischen Stadt kaum wahr. Denn in New York fällt nur auf, was groß, bunt und grell ist. Und als Deutsche sind wir ohnehin eine verschwindende Minorität in dem Kulturenschmelztiegel. Was also tun? Resignieren oder aufgeben?

Nein, wir wissen uns dem Namen »St. Paul« verpflichtet! Als Paulus in den damaligen Großstädten Ephesus oder Korinth Gemeinden gegründet hat, war die Ausgangslage nicht anders. Aber er wußte, die Mitte der Gemeinde, Jesus Christus überrgat alles andere. Im Vergleich zu ihm verschwinden auch Hochäuser zur Bedeutungslosigkeit.

Deshalb ziert die Startseite unserer Homepage die Rosette der St-Pauls-Kirche. Sie ist Symbol für das Gemeindeverständnis des Apostel Paulus: In der Mitte, die Achse, das Gewicht des Ganzen tragend, befindet sich Jesus. Von dort aus entwickelt sich die Gemeinde in einer bunten, und dennoch geordneten, Vielfalt.

So hat St. Pauls

die letzten 150 Jahre überstanden: Im Dienst der deutschen Gemeinschaft im Großraum von New York. Von ehemals mehreren deutschen Gemeinden in Manhattan ist sie heute die Einzige, die noch ein rein deutschsprachiges Programm anbietet: Gottesdienste, Seelsorge, Diakonie und Unterweisung sind die Hauptpfeiler ihrer Arbeit. Zurzeit hat sie ca. 240 eingetragene Mitglieder.

Obwohl immer noch ein starker Stamm der Auswanderergeneration die Gemeinde prägt, ist sie heute vom typischen Wechsel der »Expatriots« geprägt: Deutsche, die im Auftrag des Auswärtigen Amtes, großen Firmen oder der deutschen Schule für drei, vier oder fünf Jahre in New York leben. Eine große Rolle ist der Kirche bei der Betreuung deutscher Touristen und Besucher zugewachsen, die hier nicht nur einen deutsche, sondern auch eine hilfreiche und beratende Heimat finden. Auch wurde ein Großteil der deutschen Spenden nach dem Terroranschlag am 11.9.2001 über St. Pauls abgewickelt.

Erstkontakte zur Gemeinde entstehen typischerweise bei der Taufe von Kindern deutschsprachiger oder gemischtsprachiger Eltern. Über die zwei Kinderkirchen geht dann die Begleitung der Jugend über in den Konfirmandenunterricht. Falls die Kinder die Deutsche Schule New York in White Plains besuchen, werden sie dort zusätzlich vom Pastor im Religionsunterricht unterwiesen. Der Chor der Deutschen Schule New York bietet weitere Kontaktmöglichkeiten zu Angeboten der Gemeinde.

Ein Kreis junger Erwachsener hat bisher das Anliegen dieser Altersgruppe zu seinem Anliegen gemacht. Nicht wenige Hochzeiten finden im wunderbaren neugotischen Gebäude der St. Pauls Kirche statt. Ein großes Sammelbecken (nicht nur) für deutsche Frauen in New York war schon immer der Frauenverein, der die Gemeinde durch Tat und Rat unterstützt hat. Über die Kirchenmusik ist die Wirkung von St. Pauls schon weit über die Grenzen der Stadt hinausgegangen. Abgerundet wird das Angebot durch die Begleitung der älteren und kranken Gemeindeglieder bis hin zu den Trauerfeiern.

In der schnelllebigen, von der Hektik und Unruhe geprägten Stadt New York, mit seiner Unzahl an Unterhaltungs- und Ablenkungsmöglichkeiten eine Auslandsgemeinde für Deutsche zu erhalten, ist kein geringes Unterfangen, das aber von vielen Einzelnen mit Mut und Engagement betrieben worden ist. Denn trotz Unterstützung der EKD ist die Finanzierung (siehe Finanzen) der Gemeinde in der sehr teuren Stadt New York ein Dauerthema. Aber vom Fabrikanten mit dem dicken Scheckbuch bis zur Rentnerin, die Karten bastelt und verkauft, tragen sehr viele Leute mit ihrer Gabe zum Erhalt der Gemeinde bei.

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Postanschrift:
P.O. Box 1971
New York, NY 10113-1971

Straßenanschrift:
315 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011
Tel: +1 212 929-1955
Fax:+1 212 929-2947
stpaul@stpaulny.org



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