H2O - Gothenburg

LocationGothenburg, Sweden

Why Sweden?
Despite a rich heritage of revival and global missions, Sweden is now one of the most secular societies in the world. The past 100 years have seen significant transformations, resulting in a surge of materialism, isolation, and relational fractures. Equally dramatic is the perilous decline in church participation. Sadly, the Swedish state church is seen as a mere cultural stepping-stone, lacking tangible spiritual vitality and influence. There are a handful of excellent independent churches but the vast majority has suffered from crippling ideologies and simple association with a series of high-profile scandals. Most are marginalized by a pervasive suspicion, irrelevancy, or outright rejection. The majority of Swedes find little use for church and those who believe do so privately.

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Why Sweden?
Despite a rich heritage of revival and global missions, Sweden is now one of the most secular societies in the world. The past 100 years have seen significant transformations, resulting in a surge of materialism, isolation, and relational fractures. Equally dramatic is the perilous decline in church participation. Sadly, the Swedish state church is seen as a mere cultural stepping-stone, lacking tangible spiritual vitality and influence. There are a handful of excellent independent churches but the vast majority has suffered from crippling ideologies and simple association with a series of high-profile scandals. Most are marginalized by a pervasive suspicion, irrelevancy, or outright rejection. The majority of Swedes find little use for church and those who believe do so privately.

The Garden of Sweden? 
Complicating this spiritual landscape is that Sweden is a wonderful place to live. With a relatively small population, excellent benefits, stunning natural beauty and family-friendly legislation, Sweden regularly tops many quality-of-life surveys. Life is simply quite good for many Swedes. The need for God is blanketed by Sweden’s comfort and way of life. Still, many are searching for meaning, community, and purpose.

Immigration 
Those who are most desperate for this community are those who have recently arrived from all parts of the world, refugees and those seeking a better life. Most are from the Middle East, The Baltic States, and Africa. The cultural picture of Sweden is changing dramatically. Roughly 18% of the population now has foreign origins. As in many countries, integration is slow and a smoldering issue in politics, relations, and communities.

Hope, Respect, and Care
CAI’s project in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city is called H20, short for “Hope, Respect, and Care” in Swedish. Our goal is to follow God’s leading and initiate growing communities expressing these elements. Believing that Christ offers an abundant life even in the beautiful, isolating, and complicated “Garden of Sweden”, we want to create new spiritual curiosity, exploration, and ultimately Jesus-followers. With a strong commitment to the Swedish language, we have begun in Angered, a section of Gothenburg reflecting the global immigration and its needs. We also seek to have a beneficial influence on the greater Gothenburg region as well.

We have a Dream
Our dream is to create a self-propelled movement of holistic learning communities that are spiritually vibrant, diverse, and hospitable – ‘spaces’ for people to explore their growing faith. We currently are doing this by being spiritual witnesses, individually and collectively, through our relationships, service, hospitality, and daily lives. We also are doing this by cooperating with a broad and diverse network of strategic partners.

Expressions
Currently we are moving toward our goals and dreams through a number of ways. We have been blessed through our local partnerships with a wonderful facility for office space and a multi-purpose rooms. From there, we have a number of expressions ranging from low-threshold service and social events to worshipping communities.

  • Medvandrarna is a relational-ministry which interacts with the hundreds of Swedes and “New Swedes” who come to an adjoining second-hand warehouse.
  • TjänaStan (Serve the City) is a service-ministry demonstrating the kingdom of God in our communities.
  • Impressions is a bi-weekly worship and fellowship gathering with an international flavor and exploratory worship style.
  • Expressions is a bi-weekly social gathering for discussion, interaction, and fun. Examples are costume parties, movie nights, watching sports, and you-tube discussion times.
  • Faith Factory is a bi-weekly gathering for young people, age 9-13, helping them to navigate the complexities of pre-teen and teenage life.
  • Wine Group is a bi-weekly gathering in homes which seeks to foster relationships and spiritual conversation.
  • Sauna Group is a monthly gathering for sauna enthusiasts. “Come as you are!”
  • Women’s Breakfast is a monthly gathering bringing women together to talk about life.
  • Pre-marriage and Marriage Classes

Interested?
Would you like more information about H20? Are you considering Sweden as a place to minister? Are you interested in supporting this project in some way? Our distinctly international team would love to talk. Please visit our international website (Swedish, English, German) or email Marcus Fritsch at info@h2o-gbg.se.

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We look forward to hearing from you!

To learn more about the Fritschs click here.

To learn more about the Molgaards click here.