Pastor johnke leaves affalterthal

The farewell of local pastor hans-jurgen johnke was full of emotions. One sensed that the church congregation was very reluctant to see its leader leave.

In the semicircle the believers of the church community affalterthal bieberbach on the meadow around the wooden cross and the altar saben. Under the direction of igensdorf state trombone warden sven menhorn, the local trombone choir played. He was supported by the blasers from the deanery of grafenberg. They all played pieces that johnke had chosen and that were intended to underline the farewell character of the service. Vicar michael maul contributed to the service with prayers and readings.

In the sermon, johnke pointed out how important it is for each individual to stand up for the community and contribute to a peaceful world.

The farewell ceremony after the service began with deputy dean axel berthold of neunkirchen officially dismissing johnke from his ministry in affalterthal, thus freeing him for his new duties as a teacher and pastor in el salvador.

"It hurts us very much"
Hans Martin gemahlich, the church's representative, praised johnke's pastoral and human qualities and even gave him a big hug at the end of his farewell speech. "He carried light into the houses and held understandable sermons, he was a pastor to touch and we had enjoyed him therefore gladly still longer", gemahlich praised the outgoing pastor.

Gerhild zeitner's farewell words were also full of emotion. She is the wife of pastor johnke and herself a pastor in thuisbrunn. She was almost a little apologetic for the farewell, "which is always also a bit of dying. Zeitner regretted that it had to come to this: "it hurts us very much to go, especially for my husband. We wanted to make this farewell much later."

But it couldn't be helped, zeitner said, because in the end the plan for the posts turned out differently than they had wanted.
Now they are going to a country that until recently was full of war and where many traumatized people now live.

Johnke himself will mainly train pastors in el salvador. Johnke expressed the melancholy and compassion he and his wife felt. He thanked for "the open hearts" in the church community "for the beautiful time here". He will probably also miss the "brodworscht" and certainly also the trombone playing. As honorary president of the bavarian trombone choir association, johnke was for many years the spearhead, help and support for more than 18,000 brass players.

Besides the ecclesiastical farewell came the secular one. Fire department commander siegfried dietel presents a farewell gift on behalf of the four village associations.
Among other things, johnke can now recall the special moments of his fun-and-a-half years in affalterthal with an illustrated book.

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