In mid-June, the CCP team, some English students and Crowded House workers traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark. A big part of our one week trip was partnering with a local Acts 29 Danish church and helping them with anything they needed. Little did we know, the Danish Christians we met would be a great help to us…
"A CHURCH THAT TAKES FAITH, DOUBT AND LIFE SERIOUSLY."
Copenhagen Church (C.C.) began in 1998 after several Danish people met to discuss the possibility of forming a new congregation in Copenhagen. After vigorous growth, the church decided to move to the Bethesda school building to do worship. Pastor Claus Gronbaek describes C.C. as an independent, Evangelical Lutheran congregation. "This means that we have the same confession as the state Lutheran church, but are also completely separate and not bound by its laws, rules and bishops." Claus continued on a personal note, "Please pray for the leadership of Denmark's state church. That they would not conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of their minds. Then they will be able to see what God's good, pleasing and perfect will is."
Sarah Trapp appreciated some of Claus’ inspiring stories: “He talked about inviting his unbelieving neighbors over to his house. Claus had no expectations of talking about Christianity during the fellowship, but he and his neighbors ended up praying over things happening in their lives! As the weeks progressed and more neighborhood gatherings occurred, Claus’ family and neighbors started reading the Bible together. I think this shows how people are drawn to Christianity through hospitality.”
Pastor Claus’ kindred spirit carries into his thoughts on ecclesiology: “Any church ought to have a foundation that says something about who you are and a vision for what you want. A church manual ought to be the Bible, and we have three points that gather what the Bible says about being a church. We call it “The Dream” because we recognize that it is not yet a full reality in Copenhagen, but something we long and work towards that characterizes us as a church.” The Dream revolves around three words: gospel, community and mission. Gospel is a central and invaluable part of life in Copenhagen Church. Community is a determining factor in which Christians give and receive. Mission is something one comes to know and express themselves through thought, word and deed. Ida Pedersen is an intern at C.C. and gave us a walking tour of the university she attends. Ida describes The Dream as, "Sort of our vision for our church. We call it The Dream because it is something that we want to keep exploring, expanding and dreaming about."
Gudstjeneste & K-Grupper
Claus described worship at Copenhagen Church as a weekly session where members celebrate the church's lord and hope. "We have a gathering on Sunday where there are many people of all ages. We do music, song, prayer, reflection, communion and a sermon that is understandable and relevant." Through preaching, sacraments, and testimony, Claus equips and challenges people to a discipleship with Jesus. "We would also like to be a community during the week that looks to the interests of others. Therefore, we gather in small groups called "K-Grupper." A K-Group is a small community of about 7 to 10 people, where you can meet in each other’s homes and ‘share life together.’ K groups provide a platform to learn from one another, and to find out how Jesus, faith and forgiveness apply to ordinary Danish life.
A Strong Vision
Copenhagen Church's vision and characteristics have always been to "The ones we know, must know God." This vision has led to involvement in various networks and sources of inspiration. In recent years it has been particularly Acts 29 and The Crowded House in Sheffield, England who have been CC's role models and sparring partners. This has led to an increased focus on the gospel, leadership training, discipleship, fellowship and an identity of being "sent" to the world.
Our group was extremely blessed by the church pastor and interns at Copenhagen Church. We learned more about C.C. from them, and what the Lord is doing in Copenhagen to advance His gospel. I think Devin Smith summarized the visit well when he said, "I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for new Danish friends from Københavner Kirken! Thank you for opening your homes, providing food, and for sharing your lives with us. We will remember flødeboller, laughter, and singing songs together. But most of all we will remember your love for us foreigners when we were in need."
The slide show is courtesy of Devin Smith and Alli Wood.