Germany: Exhibition connects lifestyles to Christian roots and responsibility

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Saxonian church center opens ‘So that the seeds may grow’ exhibition to the public

Germany: Exhibition connects lifestyles to Christian roots and responsibility(LWI) - “Damit die Saat aufgeht” (So that the seeds may grow), an exhibition that opened its doors to the public on 14 March in Saxony, Germany, invites Christians to reflect on how everyday lifestyles can promote responsibility for justice, peace, the integrity of creation and build a welcoming community.

Put together by the Ecumenical Information Centre of Dresden, and a member of the “Frieden und Hoffnung“ (Peace and Hope) congregation in Dresden-Löbtau where it is currently displayed, the exhibition was launched through the initiative “anders wachsen” (to grow differently), which puts into practice alternative models for a sustainable way of life in the community. It consists of 14 panels, each displaying a Bible text and reflection, examples of local or international community-driven initiatives, and a smart phone-accessible bar code on how to link up with a project that promotes a more responsible way of living.

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is one of the co-sponsors of the exhibition through project support to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony, one of the communion’s member churches in Germany.

Congregation members and others interested can view the exhibition “Damit die Saat aufgeht” (So that the seeds may grow) during the parish office opening hours: Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00 - 12:00 hrs and Thursdays from 15:00 - 18:00 hrs in view of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Ms Juliane Assmann is in a team of three people who came up with the idea of the exhibition as part of a broader initiative that started in the Saxonian church in 2011. “The purpose of the exhibition is to make congregation members to reflect on what it means to follow Jesus Christ. We hope it can encourage people to think about distributive justice from the fruits of their Christian roots,” she said.

The display covers a wide range of topics including ecological agriculture that promotes the production of residue-free healthy food without overburdening the soil, groundwater and the environment. The map application Mundrau is suggested as a useful tool for locating public spaces where local residents can pick a variety of fruits and nuts for free. Visitors are also invited to explore how to combat food wastage by offering surplus perishable goods to “Fair Teiler” outlets that are accessible to anyone “unconditionally.”

There are also proposals to check out repair cafés that are run by volunteers where one can learn how to fix household appliances and other small items under supervision. Local hospitality is promoted by showing how a Christian community has welcomed refugees and migrants as well as efforts to integrate people who are unemployed.

Other topics that “Damit die Saat aufgeht” covers include climate justice through which individuals are asked to consider plastic-free alternatives for packaging everyday items. The exhibition also raises awareness about the need for advocacy on environmental and energy concerns in Germany, citing the example of the harmful effects of open-pit mining to the health of workers, the vegetation, soil and water. It also shows how peaceful protests and movements have helped to bring social and political transformation in different parts of the world.

The exhibition will be on display in the Dresden-Löbtau district until 6 June, after which it will be available to other parishes or associations.

By LWF/P. Mumia