Faith and Life
in German Language
in the Nation's Capital.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
7730 Bradley Boulevard (corner of Seven Locks)
Bethesda, MD 20817
... to our website!
... to the German Lutheran Church!
We are very happy that you have found your way to this website and hope that you will find it informative. As a German Protestant congregation in Washington, D.C., we are a cross-cultural group of individuals from various walks-of-life who find our lives intertwined through common worship, song, and social events, including a coffee hour immediately after each Sunday church service. Congregation members also participate in a wide array of social events throughout the year such as seminars, discussion evenings and concerts.
As one of its more than 100 ministries abroad, we are related to the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) which comprises churches of Lutheran, Reformed and United faith traditions. Members of all these traditions feel at home in our church.
We invite you to explore these web pages, or - better yet - to come to our church service on Sunday at 09:30 a.m. at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Bethesda. We would be very happy to greet you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (301) 365-2678 or make use of the contact form here.
Worship Services and Sunday School
in German language
every Sunday at 11:00 AM.
Join us for our
The German Lutheran Church invites young people (grade 7 or 8) to prepare for their confirmation or – if they have not been baptized as infants – baptism in May 2020. The new confirmation class starts in September 2019 and is held in German language by our Pastor Dr. Martin Eberle.
The lessons are scheduled on afternoons (usually every two weeks, on Wednesday) at the parsonage in Potomac (10012 Kendale Rd). A pickup-service at the German School is offered. In addition there will be three Saturday workshops and three weekend camps at West River Center, Churchton, MD (Chesapeake Bay) (the first one on Sep 13-15, 2019).
The lessons combine different forms of learning. Practical education includes taking part in different congregation meetings and attending regularly our worship services. We will be visiting other denominations and projects of diaconical/social work. We seek to experience good fellowship and spiritual communion.
Children of our church members can register without additional payment. We encourage families to become members of our church. Non-members are requested to contribute a fee of $ 550 – except hardship cases. For all participants there will be charges for board and lodge for the three weekend camps. The confirmation service will probably be celebrated on May 24th, 2020.
The Sunday worship (in German) serves as a central focal point of the German Lutheran Church Washington D.C. The congregation, typically described as dynamic and festive, is comprised of approximately 230 members of all age groups from 115 households, and is one of the 100 congregations of the Protestant Church in Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, EKD) existing outside of Germany proper. Some members of the congregation have lived in the U.S. for many years while other members reside for a much more limited period of time. For this reason, there are always new faces being welcome in our congregation.
Our congregation exists on the crossroads of two cultures. Our church services are celebrated in the German tradition and, for the most part, in the German language, but our congregational structure has characteristics similar to those in the U.S. with "self-initiative" being the principal driver of church activities. Reflecting the international character of the Washington, D.C. area, members of the congregation are employed at various international organizations such as the IMF and World Bank, in the service of the German government as members of the diplomatic core or military, in one of the varied national or international research organizations such as the National Institutes of Health or IFPRI, or are employed in private business at both German and American firms.
The Germans of the congregation, often far away from home in a foreign country, find an important part of their German tradition in congregational experiences and activities, and in the celebration of church services. At the same time, however, the congregation is young-at-heart in that it remains open-minded and receptive to new ideas. For all members, our church community has not only a religious and spiritual dimension, but also serves an important cultural function with its rich offering of activities (seminars, musical performances, filmes, etc.), independent of nationality or place-of-birth of members.
A high percentage of our church members are actively engaged in voluntary church activities that contribute and establish a rich and dynamic environment and experience for members. At the forefront is the work of the church council and the many associated committees that provide direction and planning for many of the church activities, the members of the choir and associated musicians who provide wonderful musical experiences during church services and other related events, the lectors and assistants by communion. Very important to the German Lutheran Church in Washington is its strong community outreach program. Members of the congregation are both financially and actively involved (e.g., running a clothing bank and serving breakfast) with the Community Family Life Services, a charitable organization serving the less fortunate in the Washington D.C. area.
Who we are...
What we do...
Serving God and the community.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Eberle
was born in Pforzheim, Germany. He studied theology in Heidelberg, Leipzig, Madurai/India, Berlin and Bielefeld. After receiving his diploma in Theology, he commenced a dissertation project on Max Weber's studies on ancient Judaism, focusing on ethical questions and diving deeply into sociological theory. He earned his Ph.D. from Wuppertal-Bethel Seminary in 2008.
He began working in the parish ministry as Vicar in Detmold from 2004 to 2006. Then, from 2006 to 2009 he worked as the coordinator of a theme year in cultural tourism in Saxony-Anhalt, a collaboration of church, state and cultural foundations. In addition to this, he taught Christian Ethics at a graduate school for deacons. From 2010 to 2018, he served as the Cathedral Preacher and Pastor in Merseburg (Evangelical Church in Central Germany).
In his church district, Rev. Dr. Martin Eberle was the coordinator of Christian-Muslim dialogue. He was a member of the synod of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany and has been involved in German-Swedish partnership programs since 2010. From 2011 on, he was also a member of the steering committee of the Northern European Cathedrals' Conference and served as its chairman from 2016 to 2018.
The Church Council
Dr. Gunila Molineus ist currently president of the Church Council.
The Church Council
is the governing body of the congregation, officially representing it both within the church and to outside organizations. The church council typically meets each month to address current issues of the congregation and to make decisions, when appropriate. Examples would include addressing issues related to Sunday service, special events put on or sponsored by the congregation, issues of finance, deciding the purpose of the Sunday collection, shaping of the congregational environment, or representing the congregation at outside functions.
The church council is composed of 12 "vote-eligible" members of the congregation that have been elected by the congregation at the annual meeting. The pastor serves in the capacity of advisor to the church counsel. The length of service of a member of the church council is 3 years, and every year one-third of the church council stands for election. The president of the council is Dr. Gunila Molineus, the Secretary is Dr. Nikola Koritz and the Treasurer is Mrs. Ilka Funke.
The Church Assembly
The Church Assembly
The decisions taken at the annual meeting of the congregation determine church operations for the coming year. The congregation elects the governing church council, approves the council's decision regarding the hiring of pastors, and accepts/approves the financial report and the church budget. The annual meeting takes place in the Fall of every year, and all members of the congregation have the right to participate and vote. Themes of the annual meeting include a look back at the year's activities, and reports on current and future activities as well as reports from various church groups. The annual meeting, as well as being very informative, also portrays the colorful personalities of our congregation.