The coach stopped right in front of the hotel when I arrived in Hamburg on Friday the 26th of October. Some participants of the board were already in the hotel which was actually founded for hosting fishermen and has a little chapel providing them a place to pray and worship as well.
After everyone had arrived, we introduced ourselves to one another since there were a lot of new faces for me in the group of 9 participants. Unfortunately a lot of members were ill and so we were just a little group.
Of course this fact did us not stop from catching up on each other’s projects, reflecting on the success of International Youth Gathering and the International Gathering and thinking about how to strengthen the created friendships. Moreover we advised about applications for the CCN and talked about the finances.
One big topic was the question of how to involve young people into the CCN and especially how to continue the relationships between the young adults from the international Gathering.
It was a joy to visit the St. Michael Church in the centre of Hamburg, meeting with some members of the parish who presented us their reconciliation work and would like to enter the CCN. The following visit to the crypt where Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (son of Johann Sebastan Bach) is buried was also a pleasure.
After a sunny walk back along the river and through the Portuguese region of Hamburg, we continued with the conference by getting to know about touching stories of reconciliation projects in Germany but talked about the budget as well.
I have to say that the Board conference was really well organised and everyone was focused on the topics till late in the night although the members had mostly travelled long distances from their homes, jobs and families.
After being productive, we held the litany in the hotel’s chapel and the Board members presented Canon Sarah gifts for her farewell including a friendship book and “Eierlikoer”, a typical German sweet schnapps. Of course Sarah also had a little present for the Board – in her opinion an elephant has to be a member of the German CCN and so she introduced little Benjamin to everyone.
Finally, after breakfast on Sunday, we all went to the church of St. Katharinen, which is also a member of the CCN, and worshipped together as a marvellous end of the German board and drunk tea and coffee afterwards.
Ricarda Pasch, Reconciliation Ministry Intern