Reports

Rainbow-NAC’s Information Booth at Day of the Youth in Oberhausen

On the Day of the Youth in Oberhausen, June 15 – 17, 2012, Rainbow-NAC had an Information booth in the Arena at Oberhausen.

The Team

Between June 15 – 17, 2012, Rainbow-NAC had been invited by the organizers to set up an information booth in the covered walkway of the Koenig-Pilsner Arena. A team of seven Rainbow-NAC members manned the booth and dispersed information to all interested parties. Around 11,000 young people, ministers, and volunteer staff were present from North Rhine/Westphalia, Hesse, Rhineland/Palatinate, Saarland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

Information, Presentations, and Visibility

The information booth, strategically located, highly visible, open, with bar tables to sit at, was located directly beside the main entrance of the arena, consequently, many people stopped to visit. In addition to info-flyers in German and Dutch, those who were interested took brochures and leaflets about the topics homo- and transsexuality. Also, information was provided on the exhibited posters. Before and after the benefit concert of the Youth Symphony Orchestra on Friday evening, visitors had the opportunity to become well informed. On Saturday, the booth was open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. for anyone interested.

The District Apostle Armin Brinkmann, District Apostle Bernd Koberstein, Apostle Franz Wilhelm Otten, and Bishop Peter Johanning visited the booth. Special thanks was expressed by the team to District Apostle Brinkmann. The district church of North Rhine/Westphalia had considerably supported Rainbow-NAC in preparation for the Youth Day. Above all, they had absorbed the printing costs for the extensive information materials.

No fear of contact

The response from visitors was great. A large number of interested concert-goers and Youth Day participants sought a dialogue with the rainbow-NAC team. Some came in contact with Rainbow-NAC for the first time. Many remembered that the group had, for example, a very large display at the 2009 European Youth Day in Düsseldorf. Visitors to the booth discovered much informational material. Some came with questions or to seek advice. The concerns of the visitors were quite different. Among them were several young people who are themselves gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual. Some of them were outed or not sure how they should behave towards their parents, ministers, brothers, and sisters. In many cases, the team was able to encourage them and reduce uncertainties. The announcement of a 14-year-old visitor to the team stood out in their memories. She said, "The fact that you have a booth here speaks volumes, that gay is okay.”

Besides young people of the church, there were also some youth leaders. One told of a young brother who had recently told him in confidence that he is gay. His concern was, "How can I best help the young people?" Other Youth Day participants turned to the team because they have children or family members who are gay, lesbian, bi-, or transsexual. In addition, many passers-by came to learn, discuss, or even to express their solidarity with the Rainbow-NAC. Age played no role here. Many seniors were among the visitors and showed no fear of contact.

Next event: Day of the Youth, September 9th, Hamburg

Rainbow-NAC will participate this year at another Youth Day. On September 9, 2012, there will be another information booth for the Youth in Northern Germany, at Hamburg's O2 World.

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Next meetings

May, 5-8, 2016: Hennef (near Bonn/Cologne, Germany)

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"The Bible and Homosexuality" Matthew Vines´ speech

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