Hanna Kehrein

“We became courage” was one among many phrases Gerhard Servatius-Depner coined during this years conference in Sibiu. For me it is an appropriate summary of three days filled with laughter and joy, deep conversation and thoughts about theological and at the same time personal issues. I returned home full of courage and hope for the future and as a part of a European network of young theologians. Having had the chance to getting to know so many engaged theologians from different countries and churches in my age who are all interested in dialogue between church traditions was pretty unique!

Coming from a German EKD-context where numbers are shrinking, where some grieve the “good old times” while missing out new dynamics, where others fall into actionism trying to save privileges and financial resources, it was indeed refreshing and encouraging to listen to the country reports of the others introducing us to vibrantly engaged church communities. The conference deepened my understanding of diaspora from a rather practical point of view and broadened my horizon. Knowing about the situations of other protestant churches and having in mind concrete persons and their stories is encouraging and can be helpful for creating vision and hope in my own church context. As young theologians we will be highly involved in the future of our churches. The conference in Sibiu is one step of connecting a new generation and showed us lively that what was noted in Leuenberg is still true today: We belong together, we are church together and we enrich each other with our differences.

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