Presentation of the topic in front of the Berlin Dom

Programme

Bible studies or large concerts, Taizé worship or socio-political panel discussions – the events are as varied as its visitors.

The theme of a Kirchentag is the motto that drives all preparations and planned events. It derives from a biblical text and is decided by the Präsidium committee. The 36th German Protestant Kirchentag in Berlin and Wittenberg had the theme “You see me” from Genesis chapter 16, verse 13.

You see me

This theme is the headline for all preparations towards the Kirchentag in Berlin and six “Kirchentage auf dem Weg” (Kirchentag on the Way) in central Germany. These smaller Kirchentag events in Leipzig, Magdeburg, Erfurt, Jena/Weimar, Dessau-Roßlau and Halle/Eisleben are taking place on occasion of the Reformation anniversary. That topic will also be a part of the big celebratory service in Wittenberg on 28 May 2017, where we expect more than 200,000 people.

“To be looked at and noticed is a great yearning that makes us send pictures of ourselves into the world all the time, via selfie on Facebook or Whatsapp. But we need to go deeper to be really recognized”, says Kirchentag president Christina Aus der Au, a theologian from Zurich, Switzerland. “But what is the new language we need to speak about things that every person is moved by on the inside? How can we speak comprehensibly about our belief that God sees us?”

Seeing starts relationships

General secretary Ellen Ueberschär points out: “Seeing starts relationships, not only with God but also in the co-existence of all humans. Being looked at by God is the foundation of man’s dignity as a creation of God. The story of Hagar that the topic stems from is referenced both in the New Testament and in the Hadiths, the collection of Muhammad’s sayings. ‘You see me’ is a sentence that expresses recognition, appreciation and attention beyond its biblical context.”

Markus Dröge, bishop of the Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg and the Silesian Oberlausitz, is excited for the Kirchentag, which comes to Berlin for the sixth time after 1951, 1961, 1977, 1989 and 2003. “I wish for a Kirchentag full of awareness: aware of people without regard, in a city where rich and poor are far apart; aware also of those who don’t believe in God or believe differently, here in Germany’s East and in a city full of cultural and ideological contrast; aware and alert for a church that changes because it needs to change.”

Topics

Flight and migration, cohesion in Germany and Europe as well as religious plurality and Reformation will be large thematic focus points of the 36th German Protestant Kirchentag in Berlin and Wittenberg next year. All in all, the project planning teams will develop about 50 projects and topics.

The full list

Keynote Lectures

Reformational disputes
What is driving society apart? What is holding it together?
New start towards the future common good
Human rights in the Middle East

SERVICES AND BIBLE STUDIES

Bible studies
Opening services in Berlin
Daytime prayers
Ecumenical service on Ascension Day
Celebratory communion aservices

THEOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY

Theme Day All Inclusive – Theology of Participation
Liturgical Day - Praying
Bible Centre
Centre for Bibliodrama/Bibliologue
Liturgical Day on Migration/Displacement and Heimat
Spiritual Centre
Local church projects
Centre on models of worship and church services
Liturgical Day on cities
Centre on the Church of the Future

Culture

Film series „You see me“
Mega-concerts
Centre for Church Music
Centre for Culture Church
Regional Cultural Programme
Cultural meeting points (music, theatre, performance art)

DEMOcRACY AND SOLIDARITY

Theme day Europe
Starting with remembrance
Centre on Central and Eastern Europe
Panel series on Poland and Germany (in Potsdam)
Panel series on Revolutions
Panel series on The End of Growth

COHESION AND THE CULTURE OF DISPUTE

Panel series on Views of human beings
Panel series Displacement, Migration, Integration with a culture of welcome as a place of learning
Gender centre
Rainbow centre
Centre Barrier free Kirchentag
Theme day on Medicine and Bioethics

ECUMENISM AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

Theme day on Reforming the ecumenical movement – thinking Reformation ecumenically
Theme day on What is mission? Having faith in a pluralist world
Midday meal of the migration churches
Long night of the religions during the Kirchentag
Centre on Jews and Christians
Centre on Muslims and Christians
Theme day: Interreligious-theological women’s base faculty
Centre on Worldviews

PEACE AND SUSTAINABILITY

Panel series on Peace
Panel series on Sustainable development goals – Germany, a developing country
Panel series on Food and agriculture
Panel series on Consequences of climate change (in Potsdam)
Centre for Reformation and Transformation – Ecumenical Perspectives (English-speaking)

FROM YOUNG TO OLD

Centre on Growing older
Evening series Flirting
Centre Youth (including Confirmand programme)
Centre for Children
Centre for Students

FESTIVE WEEKEND

Night of lights
Festive service on the meadows in Wittenberg
Festival of encounter in Wittenberg
Concert Live '17

MORE

Events in Wittenberg
Evening of Encounters in Berlin
Open Air Programme
Psychological advice and pastoral care
Market of opportunities