It was announced earlier today that the Thuringian Superintendent Dr. Kristin Jahn (45) is the new General Secretary of the German Evangelical Church Congress, following a special online meeting of the Kirchentag presidium. Kristin Jahn succeeds Julia Helmke, who did not extend her term of office and returned to the service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover on October 1, 2021. Her successor will take up her new office in February 2022.
Kristin Jahn is a theologian and holds a doctorate in literature. She is no stranger to the Kirchentag. In 2019 she preached at the closing service of the Kirchentag on the floating stage in Dortmund's Westfalenpark.
Kristin Jahn comes from the Evangelical Church in Central Germany (EKM), where she has been the superintendent of the Altenburger Land Kirchenkreis (roughly equivalent to an Anglican deanery or Methodist circuit) since 2017. She has accompanied its restructuring into an open and opportunity-oriented volunteer church. Previous stations were the Wittenberg Stadtkirche and Vachdorf/Meinigen. A popular preacher, she is part of the EKM's religious broadcasting team and winner of the ecumenical preaching award from the German Business Publishing House.
Thomas de Maizière, President of the German Evangelical Church Congress, is delighted with the appointment: "Kristin Jahn knows how to open hearts and inspire change with profound, powerful messages. She convinces with her clear demeanour and her decisive advocacy for our democracy. The Kirchentag will also benefit greatly in its future processes from her leadership experience in a region where Christian beliefs have not been a matter of course for some time."
As general secretary, Kristin Jahn takes on the leadership of the six-member board of the Kirchentag, the so-called Kollegium, and responsibility for employees located both in Fulda and in Nuremberg, the city of the Kirchentag in 2023. She is responsible for the strategic development and the content orientation of the Kirchentag as well as accompanying it volunteer governing bodies.
Kristin Jahn is enthusiastic about the tasks ahead: "For me, the Kirchentag is a different form of church apart from its institutional form. It shines through society in the mirror of the Scriptures. It is the place where we celebrate a temporary community and together address burning questions as we search for answers. The Kirchentag therefore sends out important signals for politics and society. I am very much looking forward to shaping this Kirchentag together with the many full-time and voluntary workers and to providing clear impetus."