Report from the German "Kirchentag" Hamburg 2013
Five days of sunny summer weather, ships and vessels, harbor sounds and more than 120,000 visitors made the biannual meeting of German protestant Christians, the so-called Kirchentag, an unforgettable experience.
The staff of the German Seafarer’s Mission was involved in various activities of the Kirchentag in Hamburg from 1 - 5 May 2013. Conferences about pirates and "fair transport" and an exhibition of Cargonauts took place. Information stands about the seafarer’s mission and its work invited visitors to discuss the daily life and the working circumstances of seafarer’s nowadays.
Two of the most memorable events I will describe in detail here. Particularly impressive was the seafarer’s night-service in the old fish auction hall. In the entertaining three-hour worship we learned a lot about the working conditions on a ship. Pastor Sakari of the Finnish Seamen's Church built bridges between the individual visitors and his preaching helped to put together a real worship community. At the Last Supper the congregation shared fishes, made from German “Brezenteig”. Finally, like sailors from the Philippines, the almost 900 visitors of the Seafarer's Night sung along "I am sailing". The atmosphere was marvelous.
Another highlight was a boat trip around the harbor to the Sailors' Club Duckdalben close to the container terminal. A warm welcome with freshly grilled sausages awaited the travelers by sea.
Every evening the Seamen's Mission Altona invited for a barbecue: a perfect place to meet and greet new and old friends.
Viola Heutger, Volunteer of the Seafarer's Mission in Amsterdam