Being a Christian is always expressed in concrete action, not only in the inner circle, but also in society in general. Therefore, we and our roots become visible. Biblical texts like Matthew 5,46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” make it clear that ACTING makes us visible: we are not helping only those who are already close to us. Places for visible acts of the protestant community are not limited to the parish hall or the church – even though those might be the most obvious visible places within a parish. And the target group of projects is not only the protestant community, but also the surrounding neighbourhood and society. There are a multitude of possibilities to create awareness for certain topics, to engage with contemporary issues, to set an agenda and to encourage others to act.
The following outline offers a suggestion on how the church can get involved in a specific way in a neighbourhood and become visible: By organizing a storytelling café! A storytelling café is a low-threshold format in which different people can engage with each other. Community members, “witnesses” (people affected by a chosen topic and/or their advocates), neighbours, activists and politicians from the district are invited. A very good moderator ensures that everyone is heard. Thus, the parish gives an impulse to society and ideally this leads to a series of storytelling cafés in other places in the district. Beyond this event, results/outputs can be solidarity campaigns, both online and offline, but also a handout that enables other congregations to conduct similar discussion processes in their neighbourhoods, whereby the format can be implemented in both urban and rural areas.