“How could I expect you to be here,” a colleague wrote when she received my absence notice. “It is good old Kirchentag.” Actually, it is a little bit like hide and seek. Every other year, there is a week you are going to find only few Germans in the Ecumenical Center in Geneva. They all went to the German Kirchentag, a large protestant gathering.
Some call it a phenomenon. German Lutheran, Reformed and United Christians meet in a different city. And they come in masses. This year in Cologne, there were around 100,000 staying from Wednesday to Sunday. If you calculate all the other people who just come for a day you are getting close to one million visitors.
Every morning, there are dozens of of bible studies. However, during the day the topics are broad, to say the least. You can discuss about economic globalization, climate change, you can join a theater workshop, discuss different theological approaches, learn more about you can visit the fair ground where literally hundreds of organizations present themselves. But apart from very serious discussions, there are also concerts from famous bands or just a local parish combo. The quality is not always outstanding but everybody gets applause from the Kirchentag crowd with their orange scarfs.