Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Beginning with remembrance at the Kirchentag

Here is Dresden the rebuilt Frauenkirche, the church of our lady, stands as a positive symbol for the energy of people coming together to rebuild from the rubble of war even 60 years later.
I hadn´t realised until reading the Kirchentag general secretary´s contribution to today´s opening press conference that the Frauenkirche also has a less positive history. It is where the Arian paragraphs were voted through by the church of Saxony without any hesitation during the Third Reich. A shameful bit of Christian history.

Every Kirchentag always begins with a time of remembrance before the official opening events. Today this took place as a pilgrimage between Dresden´s Synagogue and the Frauenkirche. To inscribe real rather than false hope in society we have to remember the past with its terrors and all its betrayals, then we can celebrate the joy and success of the present with something approaching integrity and work for better futures.

When I next visit the Frauenkirche I shall also try to go on an inner pilgrimmage of remembrance, I am thankful for those who do not forget, even more thankful for those who forgive and grateful for all who carry hope forwards. I given thanks for places of reconciliation that do not have perfect histories but which do give us stories which challenge and make us think.