We are first and foremost Cameroonians, living in Germany. That makes us diaspora. We are a congregation since we are an assembly of Christians coming from the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC) and which is very much congregational in its structure. We are a representation of the PCC in Mannheim, as there are representations of the PCC in Stuttgart, Berlin, Oldenburg, Ruhrgebiet, in Antwepern, Brussels,Gent and Leuven – Belgium.
The fact of being away from home makes it that we should be able to create space to experience life in similar ways like we do when we are back in Cameroon. One of such spaces is created in our common worship. We try not to lose touch with our traditional PCC worship styles and liturgy. We make sure that we bring life into our worship here, like we do at home, by the use of traditional rhythm makers like drums, gongs and shakers or rattles. Therefore, the congregation provides us an alternative space for connecting with what essentially makes us Cameroonians and Presbyterians. It is our way of upholdiing our religious identity and making it relevant for relating with communities of common belief.
With our presence here, we believe we can enhance, through our participation with churches abroad, stronger and more open ecumenical relations that will broaden the scope of influence and presence of our home church, the PCC. In the spirit of reverse mission, we are not just seeking to re-dynamize the Christian atmosphere in the community in which we find ourselves; we also seek to bring in the strengths of our religious experiences, for the benefit of sister churches in Germany. As diaspora congregation, we think we have a well-defined platform on which we can accompany our home church in its development efforts. We therefore form a network that also seeks to raise awareness on issues relating to the welfare of the Cameroonian people. We constitute an alternative communication bridge between home and here. This is why we try very much to network with Church districts which run partnerships with some presbyteries of our home Church, the PCC. We enter dialogue here with other churches of migrant backgrounds so as to improve our self-perception and our esteem of others.
One of our pivotal roles, as diaspora congregation, is to accompany other brothers and sisters, especially those just arriving Germany to better understand the German society. We brief them on how the society is structured, on what Germans would expect from us, and on what we can expect from the German society. This is our effort in helping brothers and sisters who fellowship in our congregation better integrate into the German society.
Lastly, and not the least, we commit ourselves to sharing solidarity with one another in very concrete ways. Like back home, we organize condolence ceremonies for members of our community in times of bereavement and we jubilate with them in times of joy. When a child is born and when the child is baptized we show our Christian solidarity in our common worship, gifts for the new born baby and fellowship around the table. This makes us feel accompanied even though we are all far away from our respective families and friends.
Last updated by Rev. Emmanuel Mote (April 2015)