Entertaining ordination service by Pastor Carsten Schmitt in Ransbach-Baumbach

Press release from 06/27/2022

“At the beginning there was a sermon with black humor” – this is what the Westerwald Evangelical Dean’s Office writes about the ordination service of Pastor Carsten Schmitt in Ransbach-Baumbach – and raises hopes for a special event. And they won’t be disappointed.

The ordination service provided striking moments that stood out and will be remembered. (Photos: Protestant Deanery Westerwald)

Westerwaldkreis. Even the beginning of this ordination service is out of the ordinary: while the new pastor of the Ransbach-Baumbach-Hilgert Evangelical parish is moving into the Ransbach-Baumbach music church, the “Frechblech” ensemble plays an Abba medley – and the many guests smile. A suitable welcome greeting for Pastor Carsten Schmitt, for whom the pulpit is almost too small that day. A theatrical stage would have been more appropriate for his sermon.

He talks about the biblical story of the prophet Jonah, who foretold the downfall of the city of Nineveh. When the residents repent and God still spares the metropolis, Jonah withdraws with a sulk, the Bible reports. “God has a sense of humor – and Jonah doesn’t feel like it”. This is how Pastor Carsten Schmitt begins his sermon, or rather: his performance. With Monty-Pythonesque humor he retells the story of the stubborn prophet: Schmitt describes with relish his anticipation of God’s punishment for Nineveh and in the meantime even mimes the passionate herald of the apocalypse with a lovingly designed end-time poster. A sermon that entertains in the best sense of the word, but keeps an eye on the essential message without irony: “God shows mercy; his love doesn’t care about borders. And this God is our God,” concludes Carsten Schmitt.

Provost Sabine Bertram Schäfer thinks that Carsten Schmitt has a special charisma not only in the pulpit. “I still remember our conversation, during which it became clear that you would come to Ransbach-Baumbach-Hilgert. I was deeply moved by the joy you radiated after this decision,” she says. “And I wish you, dear community, that you and your new pastor create a church in the midst of which Jesus Christ is to be found, who enriches our lives with joy and love.”

The musicians also radiate a lot of joy during the service: the Evangelische Kantorei Ransbach-Baumbach-Hilgert and the Ensemble Frechblech under the direction of the Dean’s Cantor Jens Schawaller present Abba and Adele songs as well as classical ones – just that refreshing mix of music that is essential for a “music church” is appropriate.

With the introductory service, Carsten Schmitt has finally arrived, as the provost puts it. Now the music-loving pastor with a special sense of humor is looking forward to shaping the community together with his team. “Church thrives on change,” said church council member Andreas Passmann during the subsequent reception in Hilgert. “We can still expect a lot from Carsten Schmitt. We look forward to what’s to come.” (bon/PM)

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