May 3, 2013

Kirchentag Day 2: Let the Discussions Begin!

Hello from day two of the German Protestant Kirchentag! Today was the first day we were able to welcome visitors to our booth, and it was both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I've never attended a festival with so many participants before! There are multiple gigantic exhibition halls filled with churches of every make and model displaying the best features from their church's life.
The bird's eye view of our exhibition hall. Our booth is on the bottom right.

Our stand is designed to be interactive, from the touch screen visual from the 1% campaign to the face-to-face contact you get from our "living library," where members of the RCH team welcome visitors with information about the different ministries of our church. In this "library," festival participants have the opportunity to ask us about the unique offerings of the RCH's ministries.
Teaching Kirchentag participants sign language.
Describing the RCH's 1% campaign and the kiosk's interactive features.

Presiding bishop of the RCH, Gusztáv Bölcskei, also participated in several discussion panels throughout the day, including a discussion on the current political situation in Hungary alongside Rev. Thomas Wipf, moderator of the European Council of Religious Leaders and CPCE president. In addition, he was joined for a very interesting, central discussion panel discussing the importance of Roma ministry by the RCH's head of Mission, Eszter Dani.
 Bishop Bölcskei with Rev. Thomas Wipf.
Roma panel discussion.

The day ended with a reception hosted by an association of Hungarians in Germany as well as the RCH's Hungarian brothers and sisters in Hamburg, who helped tremendously in the pre-festival organization. The event was attended by figures from the RCH's partner churches in Germany that have offered their support as our church prepared for Kirchentag. Bishop Bölcskei gave a short speech at the beginning of the evening remarking on what a historic occasion this is for the RCH and how thankful he is for all the help received leading up to this event.

All in all, it was an incredibly long day on our feet, but the excitement of the participants is definitely re-energizing! Tomorrow is sure to be a challenge as well, but we truly can't wait to explore the festival a little more and continue to share the work of the church to all those in attendance.

Check in again tomorrow to see more!

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