Download as PDF: December/January

Good News: Salary Increase for Elementary School Teachers

Beginning August 1, 2019, the Senate will pay all elementary school teachers 5,300 euros per month, which is equal to the salary of secondary school teachers. That means a salary increase of more than 500 euros a month. The higher pension entitlement will also be included – the two-year waiting period will be eliminated. Even those who reach retirement age before the cut-off date can receive the higher pension if their retirement is postponed accordingly. This has a positive side effect for elementary schools suffering from a dramatic shortage of teachers.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for this sign of appreciation of teachers at elementary schools
  • Pray that it will have a quick impact and reduce teacher shortages

Welcoming Culture

In the first months after September 2015, an average 1,860 refugees have come to Berlin every month. Initially, the administration was overwhelmed by the onslaught (long queues at the LaGeSo); in the meantime, accommodation and provision are running quite smoothly. The „Masterplan Integration and Security“ of the previous Senate is now following the „Overall Concept for the Integration and Participation of Refugees“ of the current city government. The already refugee-friendly policy (the fewest amount of refugees are deported from Berlin) will be even friendlier. According to the integration commissioner, the high motivation of the refugees after their arrival in the city should be utilized so that integration can succeed from the beginning. All refugees receive a language course as soon as they arrive; already 11,000 refugees were able to begin employment; 8,039 children from “welcome classes” were able to switch to a regular school. In order to be able to measure the results of the integration, all measures are scientifically monitored and evaluated.

Prayer:

  • Thank God that people who have come from crisis and war areas have found a safe place with us and for the successful integration efforts
  • Pray that the refugees find a (possibly temporary) home in Berlin
  • Pray for further successful integration which benefit asylum seekers but do not overwhelm the locals

BER – New Deficiencies and Problems

Following the last opening delay, the BER Airport, under construction since 2006, is scheduled to open in October 2020. But whether the airport director Lütke Daldrup can confirm the opening date as planned in the early summer of 2019 now seems to be up in the air again. Even in 2019 after the fire system, the previous “headache”, will finally be completed, a new headache is emerging again — the wiring of the entire airport. Many defects have been discovered on the completely new cables which were laid in 2012 (botched construction). The cable ducts on the southern runway are almost completely under water. Instead of remedying deficiencies, too many new problems are being produced. Instead of being reported by the executing companies, the inspection is being “abused“.

The head of the airport has now proposed simplifying the construction regulations of the state of Brandenburg as has been done in other federal states, so that the operating permit can be issued by the scheduled opening date. The Brandenburg Minister of Construction Schneider opposes this, but may be willing to grant permission, provided that at least all safety-relevant deficiencies are resolved (the others will follow later). In the past, Christians have repeatedly gathered to pray for the new BER airport and its commissioning. Let’s not stop!

Prayer:

  • Pray for quick detection and error-free investigation of all remaining defects
  • Pray that good solutions for issuing the operating permit can be found
  • Pray that the opening in October 2020 can actually take place

Diesel Ban in Berlin?

A diesel driving ban for a small part of the city ring along the A 100 highway by the radio tower is imminent. This motorway section is the busiest section of highway in Germany with more than 200,000 vehicles a day. The permissible value limit for air pollution is already being exceeded. The section between Kaiserdamm and ICC is affected by the possible driving ban for diesel vehicles. According to a ruling by the Administrative Court, the Senate must take measures by the end of March 2019 to comply with the limit. However, a diesel driving ban on such a short section of the highway hardly seems practicable let alone enforceable.

Prayer:

  • Pray that a practical solution can be found to reduce air pollution, including the section on the A 100 highway

Raids on Left-Wing Radicals

In Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and Neukölln 560 officials officially searched four apartments. The police union said: „It is absolutely necessary to consistently tackle criminal offences, also in this area.” After the raid, residents of the homes that had been searched called for violence against police officers. Retaliation acts are feared.

Prayer:

  • Pray for protection for residents and all police working in the Rigaer Street area
  • Pray for divine intervention to pacify the entire district
  • Pray for understanding that violence is not the answer

Protection of the Christmas Markets

Two years ago, there was the gruesome attack with a truck on the Christmas market at the Gedächtniskirche. Since then, people have been more concerned about safety for the 70 different Christmas markets in Berlin. A security concept coordinated with the police and the fire brigade and approved by the respective district is in place for all markets. The market at the Gedächtniskirche has particularly high security.

Prayer

  • Pray for God’s protection over all Christmas markets and similar events
  • Pray that fear and insecurity will not dominate Berliners

Urban Research Series – Blockade as Common Ground

Many Berliners show a blockade attitude. „Instead of agreeing on something in common, they are often simply against it,“ notes innovation coach Arvin Schwerin. „Sometimes it seems to me that being against everything is the only thing that connects Berliners.“ This has also been scientifically studied by Professor Martina Loew, who researched several cities in terms of their „intrinsic logic“. Unlike other cities, where respondents can agree relatively easily on things like progress orientation or a good atmosphere in the city, Berliners cannot agree. „It seems most important that everyone is unique and that the city does not connect anything.“ Thus, good moderation and constructive joint decision-making are needed in all questions concerning public spaces.

Prayer:

  • Pray that commonality and uniqueness have a healthy balance
  • Pray that the perspective of what is best for the city is stronger than criticism and exaggerated individualism

ONE (EINS) Day of Prayer January 19

After the enthusiastic response in January 2018, „ONE in Christ – the prayer event for Berlin with the motto “Praying, celebrating, acting together” will take place for the second time. The invitation states: „We want to celebrate our unity and diversity and discover the beautiful treasure of different forms of prayer. To do this, we gather in the name of Jesus Christ and pray for the concerns of our city.“ The approximately 20 prayer stations will be accompanied by a short joint program. Then there is time for sharing while eating together. A prayer concert will conclude the even. Details below on dates!

Prayer:

  • Pray that celebrating unity in diversity will be successful, encouraging, and lead to sending

Keeping On: Homeless in Winter

In recent years, public transport operators opened certain subway stations to homeless people during the winter, but this year, this was not planned due to safety concerns. After tough conversations took place, the U-Bahn stations Moritzplatz and Lichtenberg are now open for emergency accommodation. The Senate Department for Social Affairs and the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) agreed on a model project in which the districts of Lichtenberg and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg as well as the Berlin City Mission and the Social Foundation Karuna are involved.

Dates

Dec. 6, 7pm: Hanukkah at the Brandenburg Gate, solidarity event for Jewish life

Dec. 12 and Jan. 9, 6pm: Prayer for the city politicians in front of the Rote Rathaus

Jan. 13-20: Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer, dates at http://www.evangelische-allianz-berlin.de

Jan. 19, 3pm: ONE (EINS) – Prayer Event. 7pm prayer concert, EFG Schöneberg, Hauptstr. 125 A, 10827 Berlin. More: http://www.einsfürberlin.de

 

With this double issue for December and January, the editorial team wishes all prayer partners a happy Jesus birthday and a blessed 2019!

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