(06.08.2014) Time for reflection and preparation for the International Church Convention (ICC) – that was the objective set by a group of friends for the pilgrimage to Munich to attend the ICC. And also time for each other, something which is not always easy to achieve.
The friends started with the preparations already long before the start of the trip. The route was selected with a great thrill of anticipation, overnight accommodation was booked, hiking boots whipped into shape… and off they went: from Geislingen via Niederstotzingen to Remshart, Violau and Neusäß, and on to Steinach and Fürstenfeldbruck. The route on the last day was then from Fürstenfeldbruck directly to the Church Convention grounds – the Olympic Park in Munich.
Super weather and a good mood within the hiking group cleared their minds from day to day and increased their joy for the Church Convention. During their trip, the hikers were asked more than once where they were going, and they were pleased to use these opportunities to provide information about the Church Convention and their New Apostolic faith.
Following their seven-day pilgrimage, the group then experienced the wonderful fellowship among the believers at the Church Convention. "One week with such a magnificent highlight passed by so quickly, but the unique memories will remain" was their résumé.
(24.07.2014) For more than two years, Apostle Hans-Jürgen Bauer (56) from Ulm (District Church South Germany) headed the 10-person planning group for the first International Church Convention (ICC). In an interview with the editorial staff he provided a résumé of the event, the organizational strategy, and his very personal experiences at the ICC.
(21.07.2014) "One faith – one feast" is the fourth and most recent issue of the "OF Special" line, a product from the Friedrich Bischoff publishing house. It is completely devoted to the first International Church Convention (ICC) which took place in Munich's Olympic Park over the Pentecost weekend 2014. The special edition in German is richly illustrated and provides detailed information and impressions: a tour around the event grounds, the panel discussion with Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, and a look behind the scenes of this huge event. The 32-page theme magazine costs 6.90 Euros and is immediately available directly from the Bischoff publishing house. It can be ordered by phone at +49 69 2696-240 or online.
(16.07.2014) 850,000 m² Olympic Park, more than 200 events, workshops, performances, join-in activities, care work, 43 exhibitions, approximately 47,000 visitors, and last but not least a divine service transmitted worldwide on Pentecost Sunday. This is just a brief summary of the first International Church Convention (ICC) over the Pentecost weekend 2014. How can an event with these dimensions be realized?
This challenge could only be met by the contributions of an uncountable army of volunteers. Several thousand Church members were involved on a voluntary basis throughout the event in sectors covering safety, event organization, logistics, and medical and care services. Far greater was the number of those involved in gathering the registrations in the Church congregations, preparing and supervising exhibitions, looking after children, holding workshops, presenting lectures, films and musical highlights, and also making sure that the thousands of visitors could be served with a wafer during celebration of Holy Communion in the divine service.
These all represent the active participation in their Church Convention. They were not satisfied just to "consume" and "take along", but wanted to provide active support. Every ICC visitor profited – even if unnoticed – from the work of the many helpers in the background. “It is a matter very close to my heart to thank you that you have contributed by your efforts that the ICC 2014 could take place and that we could live together such a beautiful feast of faith. …. Your commitment was excellent!” District Apostle Michael Ehrich, patron of the ICC, wrote in a gratitude letter to all honorary helpers. The complete ICC editorial staff follows this gratitude. Although we are restricted here to passing on the personal experience of just one person from the editorial staff, it may serve as an acknowledgment of the work of all voluntary helpers:
"It is about 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, the thermometer indicates 31 degrees. At the counter of the beer garden there is a queue which means waiting for at least half an hour for a drink or sausage. Right next to this is a catering marquee, but the queue is just as long and the climate in the marquee is no different from that outdoors.
At the entrance and in the middle of the marquee there are six or eight ladies in green/yellow neon waistcoats labelled 'Catering'. They have already been standing there since 11 a.m., and make sure that one long queue becomes many shorter queues by distributing the waiting persons to different tills. At the same time, they watch out for persons with a helper ID. And so I found myself standing at the end of one of these long queues until an observant catering helper beckoned me to come to the front at a till and directly instructed the lady behind the till: 'This gentleman must be given priority, he is on duty!' I was served immediately. I had not expected such great attentiveness and was delighted to experience such a commitment."
(09.07.2014) A definitely lively presentation could be found at the 30 square meter information stand "Accompaniment during mourning" in the marquee next to the Werner-von-Linde Hall. Many facets covering the topic "Death and mourning" were presented: one corner was devoted to "star children", one wall for accompaniment during mourning for children and young persons, there were shelves with numerous specialist books, and there was a corner where one could obtain information on training to be a grief counsellor. Even appealing motto postcards could be found on the large conference table in the centre of the booth, as well as a ship containing a heap of shards. These broken fragments could then be written upon by the visitors using a waterproof pen, and symbolized the shattered dreams and unfinished tasks in the individual's life. Patchwork blankets containing memories were presented, and also a range of suitcases. The latter were provided as an incentive for reflection – "What will YOU be taking along on the journey at the end of your life?"