Only by participating in church and other social networks Protestants can share what they have, learn new things, celebrate life and ultimately put their theological insights into practice. This is one of the insights participants at the second digital academy of the Forum Young Theology in Europe shared. Mirjam Sauer, who was highly committed to developing the whole project and to execute the digital academies and conferences made clear during one of the
lectures how fundamental the idea of participation is within Christianity: “Everybody can contribute with his or her gifts and skills to our church and this is also a biblical demand.” During the 7 lectures, held between November 2022 and February 2023, mainly young theologians from different European countries and churches met every fortnight via Zoom to listen to presentations on topics like participation in minority situations or Peace Ethics, to discuss these topics and to share their experiences.
During the lectures, it became clear that participation relating to Protestantism refers to both, participation within the church as well as participation of the church and its members within society; members of the church being interspersed in their mostly secular living and working contexts is a great opportunity for participation within society.
The participants added valuable insights from their respective contexts, presenting a vast spectrum of European Protestantism – from the Protestant Church A.B. in Romania livings in close neighbourhood with the Orthodox Church to members of the Waldensian Church in Italy, existing in a society with a predominantly catholic background or Protestants living in (Eastern)Germany in a mainly secular society. But detached from any local background, the outcome of the lectures can be summed up by what Volkmar Ortmann, one of the organisers of the Forum Young Theology in Europe concluded: „Participation is part of the DNA of Protestantism!“