We are therefore Christ’s Ambassadors – this is the motto and theme of this year’s European (North, West, East) Pastor’s Conference of the EKD (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland) with 69 attendees (including family members) from 16 different European countries. Great time catching up with colleagues, sharing the joy and the burden of being pastor, learning and reflecting – and deepening friendship.
Some impressions from the program:
Friday, 5th July – Learning from the monks from Irelands “golden age”, 6th to 9th century: Walk and talk in Glendalough with Fr. Michael and Fr. Patrick from the Tearmann Retraite Centre Glendalough.
Saturday, 6th July – Ambassadors of Christ in our time: Learning from the Ireland of today. Lectures from Dr. Jessie Rogers, Maynooth, Bishop John McDowell, Clogher and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Dublin. We learn how strong fear guides the attitude of todays churches in Europe, how important it is in the border region to listen to the people and to draw their attention to the future instead of the past, and how important it is to tell the church the truth about who they are at the moment in today’s society.
Sunday, 7th July – reassurance and encouragement. The Sunday service enfolds the word “paradoxical curiosity” as a way to perform reconciliation and as a way to face churches that are getting smaller. Afternoon: relaxing from the work in Howth (picture below), during a sightseeing walk in Dublin or by our own. At the evening the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Deike Potzel talks about her understanding of an Ambassador.