European Methodists plan festival in Germany
2/14/2003 News media contact: Linda Bloom · (646) 369-3759 · New York
NOTE: An artist's rendering of John Wesley is available at http://umns.umc.org/photos/headshots.html.
By United Methodist News ServiceEuropean
Methodists are planning a "festival of faith" July 30-Aug. 3 in
Potsdam, Germany, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of John Wesley's
The event honoring the founder of Methodism will be the
first major initiative of the European Methodist Council, according to
Colin Ride, Europe secretary for the British Methodist Church. Ride is
the festival's co-coordinator with Armin Besserer, the council's
secretary. Council membership includes British Methodist, Irish
Methodist and United Methodist churches, as well as those in independent
denominations in Italy, Portugal, Spain and elsewhere.
this festival, we want to praise God, to thank God for the blessing of
the Methodist movement over the last 300 years, and to ask God for
renewal and revival," the festival brochure stated.
United Methodist News Service the festival is "an attempt to energize
Methodists from all over Europe." Churches from different countries are
organizing and leading various parts of the program.
The goal, he
added, is to inspire church members to pursue mission and break some of
the barriers caused by language differences or national boundaries.
About 800 church members of all ages are expected to attend. German and
English will be the festival's official languages, reflecting the bulk
of participants, but a third language may be added and translation
equipment will be available, he said.
Although participants from
the United States and elsewhere are welcome, the festival is
"specifically designed for people from Europe to meet together," he
The program will reflect different cultural backgrounds
and the different ways in which people learn, he explained. For example,
while all Bible studies will reflect the same texts, they will be
offered to participants in four different ways, ranging from listening
to a straightforward lecture to expressing themselves through art.
activities will take place on the Herrmannswerder Peninsula in Potsdam,
just outside of Berlin. The opening ceremony on the evening of July 30,
organized by the German United Methodist Church, will focus on
introductions of people and groups from various countries.
activities July 31-Aug. 2 will include Bible study, meetings of "Wesley
groups" of eight to 10 people, workshops, liturgical evening prayer, a
cafÃ© and other late-night events.
The July 31 evening program,
organized by the United Methodist Church of Northern Europe, will be a
music-filled celebration of Wesley's birth. That will be followed Aug. 1
by an international evening with ecumenical guests and people from
politics and society, organized by United Methodists from southern and
central Europe. The Aug. 2 evening program will feature a British
Methodist-sponsored "love feast" from the time of Wesley, with
testimonies, songs and proclamations.
The festival ends with a
Sunday morning worship service Aug. 3, planned by United Methodists of
Germany and Russia. More information is available online at
www.methodist.org.uk/europeanfestival.htm in English and
www.emk.de/festival in German.
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