“Five days of sunny summer weather, ships, vessels, harbour sounds and more than 120,000 visitors made the annual meeting of German Protestant Christians, the so-called Kirchentag, an unforgettable experience. ”
Viola Heutger, Volunteer from the Deutsche Seemannsmission’s station in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, sent this report on impressions of the events at this year’s Kirchentag (Church Day).
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 piracy 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 conditions of seafarers.
Two events stood out. Particularly memorable was the seafarers’ night service of worship in the old fish auction hall. In the entertaining three-hour worship we learned a lot about the working conditions on a ship. Reverend Sakari Lehmuskallio 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 Holy Communion the congregation shared fish, 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 guests for barbecues. It was the perfect place to meet and greet new and old friends.
See also the film of the Seafarer’s club Duckdalben: CLICK HERE.