Earlier this year, a new Cross of Nails made its way to Lüdenscheid-Plettenberg, to broaden the message of reconciliation that was celebrated there 25 years ago when they received their first Cross of Nails from Coventry. This new one will have a particular role to travel between different organisations in the area, and to involve the community directly through its story as it goes. Britta Däumer tells a little of this background:
Dear CCN friends,
Greetings from the “Sauerland”, a rural region in the low mountain ranges of North Rhine-Westphalia, the home of the Cross of Nails centre at Nordhelle for the past 25 years, and also from our new Superintendent, Dr. Christof Grote, who joined us in late 2020.
Our organisation is perhaps a little unusual as our Cross was presented, in May 1996 by John Petty, to not one but three organisations in our Church District (Evangelischer Kirchenkreis Lüdenscheid-Plettenberg):
– The parish Herscheid, for its work with refugees;
– The Children’s and Youth office of the Church District of Lüdenscheid-Plettenberg, for their memorial rides and international meetings;
– The Protestant Education centre Haus Nordhelle in Meinerzhagen, for their work with prisoners, and their peace forum, and more.
Since joining, we’ve felt responsible for conveying the message of reconciliation to the next generation. The first CCN International Youth Gathering was organized by our centre in 2002 and took place at the Haus Nordhelle. This has now been followed by five more youth conferences, which we were always jointly responsible for planning (Pfr. Hartmut Ebmeier/Britta Däumer).
Haus Nordhelle was the physical home of the Cross until 2019, when the adult education centre was sold, so we needed to think about our future as a CCN Centre. The parish of Eiringhausen in Plettenberg, within the church district, became the Cross’s new home. In Eiringhausen people come together in services, prayers and events to meet, discuss and pray for reconciliation.
In order to make the work in the church district (Lüdenscheid-Plettenberg) better known and to involve more parishes and institutions, we’ve asked for a second, ‘mobile’ cross of nails. This is something that has been successful elsewhere, with its involvement of several other organisations in a defined area who each act as host for the Cross for a defined time. This new Cross of Nails will change location annually to a different church or organization in our Church District active in reconciliation work, and act as a catalyst for further events about the cross of nails and reconciliation in those places.
We are so very grateful to be part of this worldwide community.
Britta Däumer, January 2021