Our conference has come to an end and from this place I want to reflect on our focus points: Taking responsibility, giving hope, and being visible. Firstly, I came to realize that these three points are intensively interconnected. You could say for example that giving hope is about personal attitude, that being visible is about collective credibility, and taking responsibility is about societal honesty – these words all came up during our group work sessions. Secondly, we all agreed on the importance of the local communities. That is the specific place where people from different backgrounds are united in the faith. Only from thereon, we can start living this faith, in the way of our three focus points. Thirdly, I learned a lot about the importance of the latest confessions (i.e. Barmer Thesen, Leuenberger Konkordie) as boundary markers of European (or even worldwide) Protestantism in general. So in the coming weeks, am I going to read them for the first time in my life!
Katharina, you were preparing the Young Forum for an entire year. Having spent five days with the participants, what did surprise you?
It was great to see the good group dynamics and to learn about so many visions of future pastors. It is obvious that there is hope for the churches in Europe.
Which vision did encourage you specifically?
Henk de Roest spoke about new ways of being church in times of decreasing membership and Sunday Service attendance. There are many ideas I want to take into my own parish. It would be great to organize a youth gathering on a European level.
Will there be another Young Forum?
I hope so. Ecumenical documents are important, but we need more encounters like this – with a huge variety of participants with different experiences and points of view.
Rev. Katharina Meckbach was working for one year in the Office of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe in Vienna. She just started working as parish pastor in Bischofsheim (Germany).
Back in Bischofsheim, Germany, i would like to thank you all very much for the great conference. We had a very good group dynamic and for me refreshing exchanges.
I have a lot of thoughts and ideas in mind for new ways of being church.
I hope we will stay in contact.
Of course you are invinted to come to my parish in Germany, Bischofsheim, drink some typical regional wine and get to know the friendly people here!
Nell’era delle “muesli religion” in cui ognuno ricerca, crea e reinventa le religioni al fine di renderle più aderenti alla propria sensibilità spirituale, che futuro possono avere le nostre chiese protestanti? Siamo ormai diventati dei fossili incapaci di trovare nuove vie di dialogo e incontro con le persone? Riusciremo a restare al passo coi tempi che cambiano senza tradire le nostre tradizioni e la nostra storia? Solo il tempo ce lo dirà, ma finché ci saranno persone che hanno voglia e desiderio di esplorare nuove vie (e di farlo assieme) le speranze non sono perse. Continue reading “Il futuro delle chiese”
Most of us are now back home. Everyday life begins again and the work in the rectories or the universities is already waiting. Will the insights and experiences of the past few days influence our work – or even inspire? And how? Time will tell.
Today, first of all, many thanks to you all. It was great to think about our churches and Europe with you. “God be with you till we meet again” – which will hopefully not last too long.
Back in Bischofsheim, Germany, I would like to thank you all very much for the great conference. We had a very good group dynamic and for me refreshing exchanges.
I have a lot of thoughts and ideas in mind for new ways of being church. So let fantasy make the world larger, better and more beautiful.
I hope we will stay in touch.
Of course you are invited to come to my parish in Germany, Bischofsheim, drink some typical regional wine and get to know the friendly people here!
Here is the link to our website (only in German) and also a short movie about our congregation: http://ev-kirchengemeinde-bischofsheim.ekhn.de/startseite.html
Best wishes Katharina
These past days were intense. I am now sitting at the airport and am finally getting a chance to catch a breath and to process this experience. It was wonderful meeting young theologians from around Europe. We agreed and disagreed on many different topics, while always being appreciative of each other. I am very happy to have learned that while travelling around Europe there will always be someone in the respective country with whom I will have some common ground. While our culture, politics and denominations may differ in many cases, there is a message that unites us. I am very thankful for this conference and for the people I encountered. Once again, I feel like being European is and will continue to be a growing part of my identity.
Safe travels everyone!
Five days, ten countries, 17 young people. The Protestant Forum for Young Theology has come to an end. Amazing days with engaged participants and inspiring conversations. We are already looking forward to the next Forum!