“Last service by the way”

Pastor gabriele munzert had to take a deep breath at the beginning of her last official service in the church "zum guten hirten in dorfles-esbach to control their emotions. Last sunday, dean stefan kirchberger formally sent her off into semi-retirement.

Kirchberger reminded the audience that although gabriele munzert has been released from her church duties, she is still allowed to continue her pastoral work. "Last service" my ass, he commented humorously on the outgoing pastor in dorfles’s change of having conducted her last church service.

Several stations

Six years ago, the bayreuth-born theologian came to dorfles-esbach. After graduating from high school in nurnberg, she studied in neuendettelsau, heidelberg, tubingen and erlangen. After her vicariate, she worked in ahorn, neuendettelsau, coburg (heilig-kreuz) and most recently in dorfles-esbach. Here she shared the pastorate with pastor gabriele topfer.

A "half-time employee gabriele munzert, however, was not. Because of her ability to adapt quickly to new situations and to respond to the people entrusted to her without a long start-up time, she was gladly used as a substitute pastor when a pastorate was vacant again. Dean kirchberger compared gabriele munzert to pieces on the chessboard. "She was a farmer, jumper, runner, tower, but also a lady at the same time", stefan kirchberger emphasized and added: "she didn’t like to take on the role of the tower, as a lady she kept an eye on everything and was only obliged to her king. For gabriele munzert, the king is god", dean kirchberger emphasized. He recalled that he had met gabriele munzert as a young vicar in ahorn in 1988. "Even then she didn’t preach, she told the biblical story in modern words", kirchberger knew to report. He described his relationship with gabriele munzert as a rut that was opened at the time and never closed again.

Not a sermon, but a devotional payment

For her farewell service, the outgoing pastor asked herself what she should talk about. "Shall I say what I’ve wanted to say for a long time, but have never said? I would like to talk about my experience of more than 30 years of work?", she turned to the visitors of the service. But she concluded to talk about what she has always done: "the proclamation of the good news". She did not deviate from her path and did not preach, but devotedly – combined with a lot of gestures and facial expressions – told the story of zachaus (lucas 19:1-10) and concluded with the profound words that jesus is said to have said: "the healthy do not need a doctor, but the sick do."

The popular pastor will spend her retirement together with her husband in their house in selbitz. "The first time I will do things that have been left undone so far", gabriele munzert described her life as a retiree in short words. She also has high hopes that the corona virus will soon be conquered. "Then we will make some trips", she revealed at the end. Torsten dohnalek, on behalf of the political community, expressed his thanks for her beneficial work in dorfles-esbach, and simone roger, on behalf of the pastors from the deanery of coburg, said goodbye to her colleague. God’s blessing for the time after dorfles-esbach was asked for by andreas waltz, the man of trust of the church board. The position of pastor in the parish does not remain vacant. Pastor gabriele topfer was given the leadership of the church congregation as a full-time position by dean stefan kirchberger.

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