„Face to face“ Today. God. Belief

Program overview (as of February 2020)

Date / Time Venue(s) Program
Friday, 3rd Juli
starting 9.30 hrs Downtown City Walks („Graz - European City of Reformation!“; „Classic Graz: Be charmed!“; „Graz: Solidarity is the future!“)
09.00 hrs– 15:00 hrs Messe / Stadthalle Registration of participants
16.00 hrs– 18:00 hrs Messe / Stadthalle Opening ceremony: celebration of Encounters
18.00 hrs– 19:30 hrs Messe / Stadthalle Dinner
20.00 hrs– 21.45 hrs Innercity churches and places Multilingual services in 10 Protestant and Catholic inner-city churches
22.00 hrs– 23.15 hrs Landhaushof Taizé-Singing Prayer Ceremony
Saturday, 4th Juli
9.00 hrs– 9.30 hrs Messe / Stadthalle Morning prayer and singing
9.30 hrs– 11.00 hrs Messe / Stadthalle Keynote Speech by Miroslav Volf with discussion with Heinrich Bedford-Strohm
11.00 hrs– 12.30 hrs Messe Bible studies in different languages and forms on Joh. 20, 11-18
12.30 hrs– 14.00 hrs Messe / Stadthalle Lunch and Singing for all
14.00 hrs– 16.00 hrs Downtown City Walks („Graz - European City of Reformation!“; „Graz: Solidarity is the future!“) and Project meeting („Interreligious Graz“)
14.00 hrs– 16.00 hrs Messe Workshops on different topics (Climate protection and preservation of creation, social cohesion, diaspora, ways of life, Europe and the churches, coming to terms with the past after 1989, dealing with social media, inclusion, forgotten regions in Europe, music, theater, sport, dance)
16.30 hrs– 18.00 hrs Messe / Stadthalle Bishop Forum the youth meets church leaders  from the participationg countries and discuss questions about the future
18.00 hrs– 19.00 hrs Messe / Stadthalle Dinner
19.30 hrs– 22.00 hrs Stadtpark Open Air-Conzert / at the same time Bishop's reception (closed event)
19.30 hrs– 21.30 hrs Downtown City Walks („Graz - European City of Reformation!“; „Graz: Solidarity is the future!“)
20.00 hrs– 22.00 hrs Innercity churches and places Church Night: Concerts with choirs from the participating countries
Sunday, 5th Juli
10.00 hrs Stadtpark (city park) Ecumenical Closing Service
The motto is picked up in various forms:
  • Prominent scientists discuss with politicians
  • Bishops and church leaders in talks with people of different generations, denominations and countries
  • Lecture by the renowned theologian Miroslav Volf (professor at Yale University, USA)
  • Workshops and discussions
  • Services and Bible studies
  • Sports and games
  • extensive youth program
  • City tours
  • Theater and singing
  • Loud brass, soft tones and open air concerts
  • Eat, celebrate and sing together
These are the topics:
  • Climate
  • Migration
  • Social change
  • Social and church developments after 1989
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Social media
  • Digitalization
  • Europa
  • Minorities
  • Gender relations
The focus is on three Bible passages:

The Lord with Abraham and Sara in Mamre, Genesis 18,1-14.

Bible passage for Friday's opening church services:

"1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, 3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. 8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. 10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? 14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."

Maria Magdalena, John 20,11-18.

Bible passage for Saturday's Bible studies:

"11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her."

The Holy Tent. God meets Moses., Exodus 33, 7-23.

Bible passage for Sunday's sermon:

"7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. 8 And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. 9 And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. 10 And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. 11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. 17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen."

The Program (as of February 2020)

The program is constantly being expanded.