Kirchentag means “Church Day” in German. This festival runs all week here in Dresden but it starts today with what the organizers are calling “the opening act of remembrance”. Here’s what it says in the international version of the program:
Opening Act of Remembrance.
Memorial stones – stumbling block – stones of burden
A memorial path from Altmarkt to the Synagogue – remembering Jewish life in Dresden, the Church’s guilt and the courage of unsung heroes.
I have seen memorial stones used for many alternative worship events but have never seen anything on this scale. It’s a brave step for the Germans and a humbling way to start this 33rd German Protestant Kirchentag. Some critics of the Lasuanne World Congress last year, of which I was a participant, suggested they should have done something similar to acknowledge the years of apartheid and the church’s lack of prophetic resistance.