Kirchentag 2011 – Dresden

Every year the churches in Germany hold an event called the Kirchentag. This literally means “Church Day” and is held in a different city every year. Think of a cross between a Christian festival like Greenbelt or Solas, and the Edinburgh Fringe. Instead of being held in a field the event is held right in the middle of a city with stages being set up, every church being used and over 100,000 people attending, many of them young people. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of events, including services, concerts, bible studies, panel discussions and much more. In 2011 the Protestant Kirchentag is going to be held in Dresden, a beautiful city in former East Germany that has been substantially rebuilt after the centre was almost completely destroyed by bombing in WW2. The Kirchentag will take place from 1-5 June with the theme: ‘… there your heart will be also’ Mt 6:21.

The Church of Scotland and ACTS (Action of Churches Together in Scotland) both have the possibility of subsidising young people under the age of 30 to go to Dresden. ACTS is offering to sponsor two young People (under 30) from each of two member churches to attend the Kirchentag. Sponsorship would be £125 for each of the reps and this could be used towards travel and/or accommodation costs with all other expenses are the responsibility of the church and the reps. To give you an idea of how far this would go a pass for the event costs EUR 49 if you’re under 26 or EUR 89 otherwise and includes admission to all events, programme and songbooks, a map of the city and free use of public transport in the city and surrounding area. Accommodation is offered either in groups with most schools providing rooms for people to bring sleeping bags, or in private homes and this costs EUR 19. You can fly with budget airlines to Berlin and then get the train to Dresden. So £125 would cover a lot of the costs and you could either pay the rest yourself or ask for support from your church.

Last year there was a group of about ten people from Scotland went to the Ecumenical Kirchentag in Munich. I think everyone felt it was an incredible event and would highly recommend it with most people talking about returning in the future. It’s amazing to see such a confident celebration of the Christian faith right in the heart of a city and particularly involving so many young people. It’s good to go with a few other people and have that contact and the chance to meet up each day for a drink or a meal or go to events together but there’s so much to do you can go off by yourself as well. Obviously most of the events are in German but translations are often provided either on a sheet or through headphones and some events are in English. When you combine this with the music events, the agora (a huge marketplace) and other events not requiring you to understand the language there’s more than enough to see and do without speaking German.

ACTS is looking for member churches to submit nominations by Mon 31 Jan 2011 and the Church of Scotland is still waiting to see if it will have invitations for official delegates, of which one would be a young person. If you’re interested in going or want more information then get in touch with Ros Milne (rmilne at cofscotland dot org dot uk) or Sheilagh Kesting (skesting at cofscotland dot org dot uk) in the Ecumenical Relations office. If you’re not in the Church of Scotland then you can either get in touch with your church’s ecumenical office or get some guidance from ACTS themselves. You can find more information about the Kirchentag here and here. Or if you have questions about the Kirchentag itself then use the comments below and someone who’s been before can answer.

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~ by iainmclarty on December 8, 2010.

One Response to “Kirchentag 2011 – Dresden”

  1. Kirchentag means “Church Conference” as in Reichstag, Bundestag etc, not Church Day. After being at four in the past few years, I thoroughly recommend attending if you can.

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