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Annual ELCD meeting  

What's it like to be church in the city? That was a central theme at this year's ELCD meeting

Photo: Folkekirken.dk

The annual ELCD meeting was held recently in Aarhus. It is a large national meeting arranged by different organisations within the Danish Church. It is set up as an informal meeting where everybody can walk straight in and attend. The meeting is meant as a space for inspiration and dialogue, and constitutes a possibility for lay people, NGO’s and employees in the church from all parts of the country to meet and interact with each other. 

Last year baptism was a main theme. Since the numbers are decreasing the question was especially how to inspire more people to let their children be baptised. This year one of the main themes was how to be church in the city. Different representatives from the church presented what it is like to be church in cities such as Aarhus and Copenhagen and they pointed out different experiences, possibilities and obstacles in the city space.

It was said throughout the meeting that the church must be alive in the city space. Esben Thusgaard who is Dean in Aarhus thinks that the ELCD has not yet arrived in the new millennium and should be inspired by the municipalities that are in the middle of a paradigm shift. Rather than perceiving themselves as exclusive service providers, the church must think in ways that are more network-oriented and co-creative.

Per Buchholdt Andreasen, chairman of the National Association of Pastors, says “the meeting is not a forum where you take decisions but is a place where we can exchange experience and afterwards take the input with us and present it in our local parish to continue the discussions there.”