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The latest news about preparations for Dortmund


Digitisation, work, social participation and Europe are the chief thematic focal points of the 37th Kirchentag (19th-23rd June, 2019 in Dortmund). At a recent meeting in Schwerte around 50 projects and themes were discussed around the slogan "What kind of faith (or confidence)?" (2 Kings 18:19). From summer 2018 volunteer programme committees will be planning 2000 events.

The Kirchentag's General Secretary Julia Helmke comments:

"It's about the centre of society that is eroding. We're looking at anxiety about poverty, uncertainty about the future and loss of language interacting with one another. Faith in the great civic institutions is shaken. How do we deal with that, what can we set against it? What does faith in God mean in this context?... Kirchentag illustrates instead variety and diversity, as well as special target-group interests. We want to create even stronger net-working, Cross-Over and new thematic connections for Dortmund in 2019."

The thematic areas of Migration, Integration and social participation will run like a scarlet thread through the Kirchentag and its preparation. The great international challenges of peace- and development policy will be among the topics dealt with in an International Peace Centre - an opportunity to contribute for non-European guests of the Kirchentag. And in a city like Dortmund Sport will of course be a theme: How religiously is Fan-culture loaded? What ethical challenges result from the performance principle and the financial aspects around Sport?

In addition to these points of focus there will be the usual rich variaty of Centres, Programmed Days and Themes, with which Kirchentags have been dealing for many years. They include Bible and liturgy, accessibility and gender issues, city and environment, not to mention interfaith dialogue. An important role - particularly in view of the third Ecumenical Kirchentag to be held in Frankfurt am Main in 2021 - will be played by the themes Eucumenism and Eucharist. More information, including comment from the Kirchentag President Hans Leyendecker can be found at https://www.kirchentag.de/service/meldungen/dortmund/maerz_2018/kirchentag_der_klaren_worte.html"


Tony Dickinson wrote this on 16th October 2017.

The slogan for Dortmund was announced earlier this morning. It is part of 2 Kings 18:19: "Was für ein Vertrauen". These words are part of the dialogue between King Hezekiah's fearful officials and the cupbearer-in-chief of the King of Assyria. It is variously translated in English-language Bibles as "What makes you so confident?" (NJB), "What ground have you for this confidence of yours?" (REB ), "On what do you base this confidence of yours?" (NRSV - RSV and NIV are very similar).

For the Kirchentag president Hans Leyendecker, confidence is an antidote to the feeling of doom in the world: "Not only since Trump has there been a feeling of great uncertainty. Often young people no longer have any confidence in the future, while the old mistrust elites. All of them, time and again, experience a world which is marked by a breath-taking lust for power, a recklessness. Together we must overcome this crisis of confidence. Only those who are ready to trust others can also develop confidence. This slogan is ideal as a basis for talking about the kind of world we want to live and the kind of world we don't."

General Secretary Julia Helmke stressed: "As the Kirchentag it is important for us to show how confidence helps people to live - confidence as an activating strength. 'What makes you so confident' [I've gone with the snappier translation - AD] is a slogan which offers trust and encouragement without ignoring questions and doubt. Amazing. Happy. Resistant."

Annette Kurschus, Präses of the Evangelische Kirche von Westfalen, added: "Contrast and difference are part of the essence of our Evangelische Kirche von Westfalen with its extraordinary variety of landscapes, traditions and ways of thinking. As in the city of Dortmund, there are also in this Landeskirche changes, endings and tensions. That's why this slogan with its various possibilities for speaking right into the heart of abundant life, fits us well as the host church of the 2019 Kirchentag."

Alongside the slogan the Kirchentag Praesidium has fixed the biblical texts for services and bible studies. The texts are related to the slogan and enlarge it. The closing service on 23rd June 2019 takes as its text "Do not abandon that confidence of yours" (Hebr. 10,35). The Kirchentag psalm is Psalm 23, the psalm of confidence.

This is the sixth time that the Kirchentag has been a guest in the Rhein-Ruhr metropolitan region, following 1950, 1963, 1973, 1985 and 1991. It is the second time it has been hosted in Dortmund.


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