Wednesday 19th June, 7.30pm. Sophia Engel and Georgia Bauer will give a S. Michael’s Lecture on “How relevant is peace and reconciliation work in Europe today?” Sabrina Gröschel writes:- “During the 1958 synod meeting of the Protestant Church in Germany, two thirds of its member signed an appeal which started the work of Action Reconciliation. The appeal stated the following: “We Germans started the Second World War and for this reason alone, more than others, became guilty of causing immeasurable suffering to humankind. Germans have in sinful revolt against the will of God exterminated millions of Jews. Those of us who survived and did not want this to happen did not do enough to prevent it.” and it became the first official but tentative acknowledgement of the German Protestant Church’ involvement in the Nazi Regime crimes.
In West Germany, Action Reconciliation started its work in 1959 with the construction of a holiday camp for working-class families from Rotterdam in Ouddorp in the Netherlands. During the course of the 1960s, the organisation’s projects, initially mainly construction projects, shifted their focus to voluntary services for peace in Germany and abroad. In 1968, the organisation changed its name to Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP). Since then, each year, ARSP has sent over 300 young people on two week long summer working camps as well as 180 young Germans on 12 months voluntary service to 13 different countries, where they donate their time and work as signs of atonement for the crimes committed by Germans and to work toward reconciliation and peace, as well as fighting racism, discrimination and social exclusion. The volunteers work with Holocaust Survivors and other groups of people who would have been persecuted by the Nazis, for example Roma and Sinti, homeless people, homosexuals and people with disabilities. 74 years after the end of the Second World War and three generations later the question arises whether the work of ARSP is still necessary and whether the current generation of young Germans should still feel a collateral guilt for the actions of their great-grandparents. Georgia Bauer and Sophia Engel will share their experience of being German volunteers working with Holocaust survivors in the UK and why they believe doing a voluntary peace service is more important today than it has ever been, especially given the changing political landscape in Europe.”
Action Reconciliation Service for Peace
Pfarrerin Sabrina Gröschel
Everyone, of any faith or none, is warmly welcomed to the St Michael’s Lectures. There is a voluntary retiring collection.
Lectures are followed by discussion and light refreshments, and are held in St. Michael’s Church. For further information, or to discuss disabled access, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – the Lecture Series is organised by Sabrina Groeschel and Julian Hofmann.
Forthcoming Lecture Dates for 2019 :-
to be confirmed.
Past Lectures in 2019.
Wednesday 30th January 2019 at 7.30pm. We welcome to the St Michael’s Lectures Dr Darren Schreiber (Univ of Exeter) to talk about “The Neuroscience of Political and Religious Beliefs”.
Wednesday 20th February at 7.30pm, Professor Emma Loosley (Univ of Exeter) will address the important topic – The Syrian Conflict: What is it Really about? – from her extensive personal and professional knowledge.
Wednesdays 13th, 20th, 27th March; 3rd, 10th April, at 7pm, Professor Oliver Nicholson (Univ of Minnesota) will guide our Lent Reading Group in “Selections from Cyprian”. All welcome – attendance at just one or a few sessions is fine – these meetings follow (optional) Stations of the Cross at 6pm.
St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Dinham Road, Mount Dinham, Exeter, EX4 4EB