Vice chairman Udo Folgart and Managing director of the association FriedensBrot e.V. Dr. Gibfried Schenk at the invitation of Ms Hanna Karsikas, chairwoman of the friends’ association of the shingle church, attended the dedication of the Kärsämäki Field of Peace.
At the initiative of the architect Mikael Merenmies, who lives in Berlin, this peace field in the north of Finland was tilled with rye seed from the field of the Berlin Wall memorial in Bernauer Straße. Fresh Berlin rye was dedicated to old tradition and sowed.
The festive ceremony at the edge of the field and in the wooden shingle church built to old tradition was attended by Ms Esa Jussila, mayor, Ms Ira Toppinen, referent for education and culture, and numerous residents of the Kärsämäki community.
In addition to the representatives of FriedensBrot e.V., guests of honour were Mr Konrad Arz von Straussenberg, Germany’s Ambassador to Finland, Provost emeritus Jorma Niinikosi, Bishop emeritus Samuel Salmi, Professor Eino Siurainen, Governor emeritus of Oulu province, Mr Seppo Kallio, former member of the European economy and social committee, and Ms Heidi Kangaskokko, head of the Kattilakoski cultural centre.
During impressive speeches were condemned the war in Ukraine and affirmed the general support for the attacked country.
Dr. Schenk presented the community with a replica of the cross from the Berlin Church of reconciliation which was demolished in 1985. The original of the cross is now in the middle of the rye field in front of the Chapel of reconciliation.
Famous actress Eeva-Maija Haukinen and baritone Esa Ruuttune provided the ceremony with a supporting program of the highest artistic level.
The international FriedensBrot network will discuss the attendance of the friends’ association of the shingle church as a permanent guest of the network on the occasion of the annual conference in Slovenia at the end of October.
Pictures: JP: Jenna Poikkimäki, Finnland; FB: FriedensBrot e.V.