Who are we

The Salzburg International Christian Church is an ecumenical, international congregation of Christian believers. Our church is part of the Evangelical (Protestant) Church of Austria. With other congregations of this denomination we have roots in the Augsburg (Lutheran) and Helvetic (Reformed/Presbyterian) traditions.

We are an English speaking congregation in the heart of Salzburg serving English speaking people from around the world. Among our participants are faculty and students at the world-famous Mozarteum music university, exchange students from several universities, professional musicians and tourists as well as German-speaking people from Austria and Germany.

We welcome people from around the world and would be glad to welcome you to worship some time soon.

History

The Salzburg International Christian Church is a new parish.

More than twenty years ago some members of the Christuskirche felt a need for worship services in English. With the blessings of, and under the authority of, the Christuskirche, an “outreach ministry” was established.

 

Several years later the congregation had grown, and the decision was made to invite an English-speaking minister, and to have regular Sunday services. Our first pastor was Richard Solberg, who came to us with his wife, Val, from Arkansas, in the United States.

He was eager to make the congregation grow. He frequently said, “If you put out more chairs, people will fill them!” That in fact happened. The number of regular congregants increased by three or four times in just a few short years.

 

By this time, we saw a need for more organizational structure for our congregation. A church council was established, and one of the first pieces of work was the writing of a constitution. We were then called the SICF, Salzburg International Christian Fellowship. Because we weren’t an independent parish, but still a dependency of the Christuskirche, our constitution was called the “Framework” and although we used it to structure our church life, it had no legal standing in the Evangelische Kirche of Austria.

 

Sup. Luise Müller and Dr. Michael Bunker provided great support to our young congregation. They encouraged us to seek official parish status for the SICF. With their help, and with the support of the Christuskirche, we aligned our Constitution with the laws of the Constitution (Verfassung) of the Evangelische Kirche Österreich. This included adding members to the Church Council, changing the voting age of members, as well as many other details. We changed our name as well, to the Salzburg International Christian Church.

 

After about five years, the Solberg family chose to take a ministry in Bali. We were saddened by their departure, but were much stronger as a congregation than when they arrived. The search for a new pastor went smoothly, and soon Michael Spangler, along with his wife, Liz, came to Salzburg to lead the SICC.

 

The next step in our parish growth was approval at the national church level of our new status. This happened quite quickly, and soon the SICC, the Christuskirche, the Evangelische Superintendenz A.B. Salzburg / Tirol and the Evangelischer Oberkirchenrat A. und H.B signed a Recognition Agreement, granting the SICC parish status. We are a „parish of persons“ which means that our members live in various parts of Salzburg and Bavaria. The common thread joining us is the English language.

 

Our current pastor, Glynthea Finger, comes to us from Australia. She has long experience with multinational religious organizations, and is an excellent leader at this time in our history. Because of the renovations to, and expansion of the Christuskirche facilities, we had to find a new place of worship. The Diakoniezentrum offered their chapel and downstairs food facility to us, and so the SICC moved to a new home. At our 2014 Annual Meeting, we voted to continue to worship in that chapel.

This is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the SICC. We had grown out of the space in our old home, and are eager to establish ourselves at the church in Aigen. Although tourists may find it more difficult to drop in, we have a renewed sense of community, which is bolstered by, paradoxically, our independence from the facilities of the Christuskirche, and our interdependence with the Christuskirche and the other parishes of Salzburg and Tirol. We are working hard to reach out to all these other congregations, to share in their spiritual life and to contribute what we can.

 

We will be always grateful to the members and leaders of the Christuskirche, who made our establishment and early growth possible. We will continue to work closely with them, both for our continuing benefit concerts, and for the growth of our shared Christian community. We are looking forward to the celebrations coming up: 150 years of the Christuskirche, and the Martin Luther year.