Cross on an altar © Markus Nowak (KNA)
All three living former and the incumbent Federal President will be invited to the 37th anniversary celebration. German Protestant Church Congress in Dortmund to be a guest. This was announced by the organizers on Monday in the Ruhr metropolis.
The incumbent Frank-Walter Steinmeier will discuss future trust in the digital modern age with former Vatican ambassador Annette Schavan and science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar. In addition, the predecessors in office Horst Kohler, Christian Wulff and Joachim Gauck would be expected in Dortmund. The 37. Protestant church congress of 19. to 23. June will take place under the motto "What trust".
In total, just over 2.000 events to the program, which Kirchentag President Hans Leyendecker, General Secretary Julia Helmke and the President of the Westphalian Church, Annette Kurschus, presented 100 days before the start of the Protestant meeting in Dortmund on Monday. "Every event has something to do with trust," Leyendecker said. "With trust in God, the question of trust in the church, in society, in politics, and in the future."
Disinviting the AfD
The Kirchentag wants to set an example against division and polarization in society, against the brutalization of language, against resentment and xenophobia. Leyendecker stressed that the Kirchentag was sticking to its invitation of AfD functionaries. "Representatives of this party are not invited to podiums this time," Leyendecker said. The discourse remains important, but one does not want to give space to the functionaries of the party. Instead, they want to talk to sympathizers, he said.
In Dortmund, there will be more interactive and participatory events than ever before, said General Secretary Julia Helmke. So they plan in the middle of the city a large workshop house with more than 160 events. He said there should be a "StartUp Church" with new ideas for the church and speed dating with new democracy initiatives. Climate change is also among the important ies, he said. Representatives of the "Fridays for Future" youth movement would also speak at the church congress.
View of the 3. Ecumenical church congress
In addition, the Kirchentag will celebrate its 70th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of the so-called "Feierabendmahle" (evening celebrations). "The theme of the Lord's Supper will also make the Kirchentag more interesting with regard to the 3. accompany the Ecumenical Church Congress 2021 in Frankfurt am Main," said Helmke. In Dortmund, there will be a special theme day on this topic.
The program also includes a panel on dealing with sexual abuse in the church, in which Hamburg Bishop Kirsten Fehrs and Marburg educationalist Sabine Maschke will participate. "Anything else would seem strange," Kurschus said. "After all, we have made it very clear, both as a Catholic church and as a Protestant church, that we will do everything in our power to take a stronger approach to the ie."