you are welcome Here
What to expect when you join us
Living internationally, you need a place where you can feel support and comfort—many expats, travelers, and Slovaks find that sense of home at BIC. Come spend an hour with us on Sunday. Our message is grace and forgiveness through Christ and we are striving to live more and more in His footsteps.
What is Worship like?
Someone will be at the door to greet you with a red worship book and the program to make it easy to participate in Worship. Sit wherever you like: in the main Sanctuary, the balcony, or behind the glass divider. Some people arrive in their Sunday-best, others prefer to worship casually—come as you are.
BIC's Worship Service is the only English service that celebrates Communion every Sunday. Communion is an invitation to Christ's table; and with Christ as our host, all are welcome. Worship ends with a song and a blessing as we go out into the week, living into the example of Jesus.
What is the church like outside of church?
Coffee Hour is a Big Deal
After worship we walk next door to the Next Apache Cafe. If you're new, just follow the crowd or ask someone to help you find it. This is really something people look forward to. It's relaxed. People sit down with free coffee and get to know new members or catch up with friends.
We Get Together often to Strengthen our Faith and Serve Others
The congregation gathers many times throughout any given week and is engaged in a variety of other ministries throughout the year.
The church is called Malý Kostol (The Small Church) in Slovak. That’s because it’s owned by Veľký Kostol (The Big Church) right next door. The Big Church is the Slovak Lutheran Church’s main worship space.
We are thankful for the ministry of the Slovak Lutheran Church and that they share Malý Kostol with BIC. They also have worship services for two other congregations: Hungarian-speaking and German-speaking congregations.
Bratislava is a very international city, so we are a very international and diverse congregation. We have members from the USA, Canada, the UK, several African countries, and a handful of countries from Europe and Asia.
So if you're new to Bratislava or Slovakia, there will certainly be someone at worship who can answer your new-to-living-in-Slovakia questions.
How to get Here
It can be tricky the first time.
Come to Panenská 26/28. We’re the yellow building that doesn’t look like a church you’re used to seeing. There are no religious markings and crosses on the outside (there’s some interesting history to that). But there are markings—some graffiti in the alley.
Use the small door in the alley to enter. If you’re coming from Panenská use the second doors on your left in the Lycejna alley. It’s all cobblestone so watch your step.
We hope this helps you find your way. But if you are a few minutes late because of trouble finding the church, you wouldn't be the first. Come on in.
Our pastors have always come from our relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. And although our congregation is always changing, we have a wonderful church council that helps in leading the church. Part of the ministry of Bratislava International Church is to support and foster future leaders of the Lutheran Church through the Horizon Internship Program. Each year we also have an intern pastor from the United States.
The Bratislava International Church owes its origins to the re-opening of the Evanjelické Lýceum (Lutheran High School). That school, whose history goes back to 1606, was closed during the communist era and re-opened in September of 1991 as a bilingual Slovak-English institution. The Lutheran Church in Slovakia asked the Lutheran Churches in the United States to provide volunteer English teachers to help with this new start.
At first, informal worship services were held at the school primarily for the teachers and interested students. In 1994 Pastors Twila Schock and William Swanson and Associate in Ministry Lynnae Sorensen were called to further develop the religion department and to establish a weekly worshiping congregation in Bratislava.
Our congregation has close ties to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American and receives support from ELCA Global Missions. In addition to this relationship, the congregation functions as a ministry of the Lutheran Church in Slovakia (Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession). We are also affiliated with the Association of International Congregations in Europe and the Middle East.