The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland has announced that local preparations for the 40th German Evangelical Kirchentag taking place in 2027 in Düsseldorf will, from September, be coordinated by Susanne Hermanns (61) and Max Weber (33). They will coordinate the activities of the Rheinische Church for the faith festival as a duo heading the team from the Landeskirche and ensure a close coordination with the German Evangelical Kirchentag.

"The interface between the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland as the host state church and the German Kirchentag is of central importance," says Präses Dr Thorsten Latzel (chief pastor of the Rhineland Church). "I am very pleased that we are able to fill this important position with a dual leadership team: With Susanne Hermanns and Max Weber, we have gained two highly committed and competent new colleagues. In a kind of pilot role, they will make a decisive contribution to ensuring that the large tanker Kirchentag can anchor well here in Düsseldorf. I wish them both God's blessing, a lot of creative power, perseverance and joy for all their work."

The Kirchentag team is looking forward to cooperation

"I am delighted that the preparations for the Kirchentag 2027 in Düsseldorf are now becoming more concrete with Susanne Hermanns and Max Weber as the new Kirchentag commissioners," said Kristin Jahn, General Secretary of the German Protestant Kirchentag, in response to the announcement. "I am sure that the two will complement each other well. Susanne Hermanns has known and accompanied the Kirchentag for many years and Max Weber is an exciting young theologian who will help us to give new impetus to the programme in Düsseldorf 2027. The Kirchentag team is looking forward to working together with them."

Close connections to the Kirchentag for many years

Hermanns has been associated with the Kirchentag for many years. During the preparations for the Kirchentag 2007 in Cologne, she was a Rhineland employee in the Kirchentag office. Since 2010, she has also been an honorary board member of the Rhineland regional committee, the link between the Rhenish church and the Kirchentag. "It has always been important to me that we are present with our regional church at Kirchentag - with many participants, but also in terms of shaping and participating," says the qualified educationalist. "I see this as a great opportunity for Düsseldorf 2027, and I want to use my many years of experience and my enthusiasm to make this happen." After working as a youth leader and youth counsellor, the part-time cabaret artist also has several years of experience as a public relations officer, most recently at a Protestant housing association in Cologne.

Well connected in peace work and international ecumenism

Weber is well connected in peace work and international ecumenism. Until 2021, he was a consultant for the Protestant Working Group for Conscientious Objection and Peace in Bonn. He has campaign experience in a nationwide relay race against arms exports and most recently held a research fellowship at the World Council of Churches in Geneva. International study programmes have taken the theologian and political scientist to Edinburgh/Scotland, Dunedin/New Zealand, Stellenbosch/South Africa as well as Bossey and Geneva in Switzerland. Last year, Weber was a panellist on peace ethics issues at the Kirchentag in Nuremberg. "Kirchentags are unique and have inspired me since 2007. People of all ages, genders and backgrounds, with different perspectives and opinions: Everyone comes together for a celebration of faith and experience," says Weber. "I am delighted to be actively involved in organising this gathering in 2027."

3 May 2024