mediation as a golden thread

Mediation in conflicts runs like a golden thread through my life as shows an anecdote from kindergarden: I irritated a child who had beaten another with the question: “Why do you beat him?” My nursery nurse thereafter assumed my becoming a pastor. She was right in a double sense: I became a pastor. And I love mediating.

The first thing in mediation is understanding. The effort to understand different perspectives on the world is a constant issue of my biography.

So in my university studies:

  • After my abitur I studied physics for a few semesters which taught me a mathematical and scientific perspective. During this period I had small jobs in a research institute and in the energy industry.
  • A different approach to reality a got to learn in my studies of protestant theology (1996-2002) at the LMU Munich. I learend to understand christianity as part of our culture in constant dialogue with historical, philosophical and sociological scholarship. This descriptive and understanding perspective plays a key role in my way of mediation: When one conflict partner says “‘That ist injust!” and the other “No, that is just!”, my studies allow myself to understand, which understanding of the situation and which concept of justice lay behind these statements.
  • Subsequently I did some studies in Economic and Employment law (2002-04) at Fernuniversität Hagen.

Since 2002 my main job is in the Protestant Church:

  • Eight years I haved served as pastor in different parishes. I have accompanied men and women in their internal and external conflicts, I have celebrates church services, baptisms, weedings and funerals and have given lessons in public schools as well as in confirmation instruction.
  • I had managerial responsibility in different congregationals kindergardens and to deal with several conflicts at that.
  • In the office of the Plenipotentiary of the council of the Protestant Church in Germany to the Federal Republic of Germany and the EU I have worked at the interface of church and state (2002-06).
  • Since 2012 I am assistant to the Nuremberg Regional Bishops. In this ministry I want to mediate between the different rationalities in parishes on the one and in the church office on the other hand and to contribute to a constructive opinion and decision making in our church.
  • In my work for the process “Berufsbild: Pfarrerin, Pfarrer” I play a part in improving pastors’ job satisfaction.

Contact to foreign countries and mediation between different cultural perspectives are also important to me:

  • Six months I have worked for the Seafarers’ mission in Lomé (Togo).
  • As “young leader” I participated in Federal President Horst Köhler’s Africa Initiative and the 2. Africa Summit in Accra (Ghana) in 2006/07.
  • In the 1990s I regularily organised humanitarian aid transports to Croatia and Bosnia.

Since 2008 I am married with Jessica Tontsch, since 2014 we have a daughter. She makes me see the world with marveling children’s eyes.

My favourite hobby is playing the violin and the viola, both in chamber music and in the Siemens Symphony Orchestra Nuremberg. I love pieces ending with a consonant chord, whereas intermittent dissonances make the music interesting.