Who is the new pastoral couple Siebenkotten for Krefeld-Süd?

A breath of fresh air in the parish
The new parish couple for Krefeld-Süd

Since February, Dr. Ines Siebenkotten and Jonas Siebenkotten in their joint pastorate in the Protestant parish of Krefeld-Süd. They were introduced on Sunday. It is a return home for both of them.

“I’ll definitely be a little excited. But the anticipation for the people who are close to me outweighs it,” says Ines Siebenkotten, pastor in the Protestant parish of Krefeld-Süd since February, in the run-up to her inauguration. She and her husband Jonas were introduced to the Protestant parish of Krefeld-Süd on Sunday.

The theologians are part of the new parish team that looks after the St. Mark’s Church and the Lutheran Church. But why Krefeld? “For us, it’s a return home,” says Ines Siebenkotten. She herself went to school in Krefeld at the Ricarda-Huch-Gymnasium after her family moved from Aachen to St.Tönis. Her husband grew up in Willich and worked in youth work in the Catholic parish of St. Johannes Baptist in Anrath. “After graduating from high school, I only started studying law, but I realized that it wasn’t for me. Through various seminars and above all through Taizé services, my interest in faith has intensified again,” says Jonas Siebenkotten. He then studied theology in Wuppertal and Kiel and passed his exams in Münster. “The decision to study Protestant theology is not something you just make. You ask yourself whether you will still believe in God when you are in your late 20s. But that is also part of believing that you trust not to lose your faith,” says the 40-year-old. He did his vicarage in Wuppertal before beginning his pastoral ministry in Neuss on a trial basis.

His wife also began studying theology in Wuppertal. This was followed by a year abroad in Paris, and to complete her studies, the 42-year-old ended up in Heidelberg with Professor Dr. Gerd Theißen, with whom she also did her doctorate. She did her vicariate in the evangelical parish in Kempen before beginning her probationary service in Süchteln and Krefeld-Süd. Between 2015 and February 2022 both worked together in Troisdorf, where they shared a pastorate.

“I really enjoyed doing all the stations, but since it’s a return home, we’re particularly looking forward to the task,” says Ines Siebenkotten. Her husband agrees and adds: “Sunday is not a day like any other. Since it’s not our first launch, excitement will likely be contained. The anticipation of the new faces, even if they are behind masks, is overwhelming.”

The couple’s duties go far beyond the Sunday service. “We share the tasks with our parish colleague Christine Grünhoff. We are primarily concerned with children and youth work in the church community. For example, my husband does a lot of church services at school and takes care of kindergartens, and I will spend a lot of time with the confirmands and with the lessons,” explains Ines Siebenkotten. The tasks as a pastor are even more extensive, because in addition to supporting children and young people, church services in retirement homes, baptisms, funerals, weddings and committee work for the presbytery are also on the agenda. “We have a pretty full schedule. But it is still very important to us that people can contact us in any situation. We are always available for a private conversation and take the time to just listen to people,” says the pastor.

Outside the vicarage, they enjoy spending time with their two children. “I used to do a lot of yoga and I hope that I’ll be able to do it again soon, but I mainly spend my free time with the children,” says Ines Siebenkotten. Meanwhile, her husband is a gifted hobby cook: “I like to be in the kitchen. But I also ride my bike a lot, and I really enjoy taking care of the fish in my aquarium,” reports the pastor.

The Corona period also messed up the couple’s everyday life. “Zoom conferences are the order of the day here. But our task as a church, to approach people more and not wait, is not made any easier by the Corona situation,” explains Ines Siebenkotten.

Nevertheless, the two theologians hope for the best and look forward to the new challenges that will come their way in the Protestant parish of Krefeld-Süd. “If I can pass on some of my experiences and my faith, then I’m very happy,” says Jonas Siebenkotten.

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