"Unity church… Church of unity… Church of peace…" And some more ideas were mentioned. In the end, it was decided to start a kind of competition and ask the people who visit the house of worship to suggest a name. " In addition a box is to be set up in the spring, in which suggestions can be thrown in.
There are 47 churches and chapels along germany’s highways. All of them are simply called autobahn church. "Why shouldn’t our church get a name there"?, it was quickly agreed. St. Christopher is the patron saint of motorists, so the church could be named after him, but the small church on the A71 is also a sign of unity and growing together as well as a place of remembrance. Now we hope this year for good suggestions from the churchgoers.
Further seating presented
Chairman ralf luther buried the members at the annual meeting, among them pastor montag (meiningen) and pastor michael schlauraff (bibra). He reported about a meeting of all responsible persons of the freeway churches in germany, where he could also present the freeway church at the A 71 freeway. Information was given by the chairman about the woodcarving school empfertshausen, which will present further seating for the church. They are also artistically designed again. Deputy district administrator peter suckfull (rhon-grabfeld) mentioned the vocational school for wood sculptors in bischofsheim an der rhon, which should be included in the project. In this context, chairman ralf luther thanked the bischofsheim school, which last year set up an information stand with a filing system for the book of concerns.
In addition, a steel cabinet is to be installed at the entrance to the church this year. This is where the electrical installation will be placed. But there is also space for brochures and the necessary cleaning utensils.
Where to put donor names?
Once again it was a matter of the names of the donors, who will be named on a board. Among other things, the front of the cupboard could possibly serve here. More than 500 names must be accommodated there however. Indirect lighting along the glass skylights is also to be installed this year. It should not be too bright, but give the church a special light in the evening and night hours.
The association autobahnkirche e.V, currently has 54 members, said the chairman in his annual report and thanked his board for the support, as well as his former driver, who still takes over the mowing at the freeway church. Once again, ralf luther then referred to the request book, which is available in the small church. "We had never thought that this would be so well received." It is often shocking, which concerns the people enter here. It also shows that the small church is a place of retreat for travelers, but also a haven of peace.
In this connection the idea came up again to put up stelae at the way from the parking lot to the church. There could then be prayers or also excerpts from the book of requests to be read. The members’ meeting agreed that these texts should be interchangeable at the stelae. Rhon-grabfeld district culture officer hanns friedrich then presented new car stickers, which he designed together with ralf luther. They are free advertising and are available not only in the freeway church, but also in churches in thuringia and rhon-grabfeld. The sticker has a QR code. This will take you directly to the website of the autobahnkirche and provide you with all the necessary information. In the meantime there is also a facebook page.
Ralf luther said that the previous offers of the freeway church were very well received and also addressed different groups of visitors. "Our church is visited again and again with pleasure." He himself is available for tours at any time upon request. Who liked, the church can also drive from bibra. For this, however, the gate key must be collected from the community of bibra.
Out of the minus
Information was provided on the finances. Here one is out of the minus numbers. "This will enable us to carry out further necessary maintenance work on the church", chairman ralf luther clarified. 3025 euros were received in donations alone. A small showcase will be installed at the church. There will then be the services and events to be read. On the subject of "reunification and "the border of yesteryear pastor montag, a member of the citizens’ committee of thuringia, referred to a "border encyclopedia, the events of GDR times on the "death strip reappraised and documented. It is also available in the freeway church. The next service in the autobahnkirche will be held on 14. April, 2 p.M., said pastor michael schlauraff. The services so far have all been very well attended, including the first blue light service.
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