The 2020 poster series is now on display: “Here I am…”

Professing our faith—many of us look for suitable opportunities to do this in daily life. Some of our brothers and sisters have found an unusual method.

Twelve posters over twelve months: the posters in the display cases outside of New Apostolic congregations will once again alternate monthly throughout the coming year, thereby providing passers-by with some food for thought. Over the last few years, these posters have become a firm component of the Church’s public relations in vast parts of Europe. The new poster series for the year 2020 has now been published.

This year, Christians from Lower Saxony, Hamburg, and Saxony-Anhalt (Germany) posed in front of the camera for the campaign. “Our youngest participant was seven years old, and the oldest was 61,” explains the Public Relations Work Group (WG PRW) for Europe. Being a New Apostolic Christian, being able to smile, and wanting to profess one’s faith—those were the job requirements in a nutshell.

Outside of the church building and on the internet

A total of 36 brothers and sisters had their photos taken in front of church buildings in Rhauderfehn, Oldenburg, Bremen-Sebaldsbrück, Bremen Central, and Nordheide (all in Germany). A selection of these have been published on posters, while the photos of the remaining participants will be displayed on the websites of the European District churches or deployed in the Church’s social media campaigns.

And then there is also the Church’s often used photo archive: “The photos are also added to our picture pool. In the event the same campaign is used the year after next, we can also take the photos of recent few years into consideration. For example, three of the motifs in next year’s series are already two years old.”

Traffic jams, a marathon, and a road closure

This year, the job of taking these photos was not so easy: the photo shoot took place over the Thanksgiving weekend, and many of the churches were already being festively decorated for the occasion. And of course, these Thanksgiving Day decorations were not to be visible on the Easter or Christmas posters for 2020.

A day of rain, which made it impossible to take pictures anywhere but indoors due to the weather conditions, a city marathon, which blocked access to the downtown core, and a long traffic jam, which made it impossible for one of the participants to get to the shoot—such were the obstacles that had to be overcome to get the job done.

But other than those little challenges, the organisers relate that “everything went really well. All the helpers in the congregations and all the models were super punctual, and it was quick work to get all the motifs into the box.” And above all, “everyone was in a good mood.”

But wasn’t “Here I am” the motto of the IYC?

Over the past years, the basis for the poster texts was normally the annual motto which the Chief Apostle and the District Apostles proposed each calendar year. But things are different this year. Why? The International Youth Convention (IYC) and its slogan were to be revived one last time.

And it was New Apostolic Christians who filled in the rest of the words after the “Here I am” motto. Supporting the efforts of the WG PRW, which is responsible for the display posters, was a social media survey in which several hundred people participated. These individuals supplemented the “Here I am” motto with a personal statement of their own. The Work Group ultimately made its choices from among these and other suggestions.

Following is just a small selection: “Here I am… active—which not only creates a nice balance with my job, but is also meaningful”, “Here I am… accepted by God and man—so there is no need to pretend”, “Here I am… sometimes in a good mood, sometimes in a bad mood, sometimes happy, and sometimes sad. And Jesus says, ‘Come as you are!’”—thoughts to contemplate, discuss, and perhaps even argue about from time to time.

Many young Christians

A striking proportion of younger people are featured on the posters. Is there any special reason for that? “Indeed, a surprising number of younger people applied for the campaign this year. The average age was 32,” relate the organisers. “However, this is actually rather unintentional, since we like diversity.” And this is not only shown in the various ages, but also in the various different types of people.

Many thousands of these posters will be delivered in the next few days, and many online campaigns will be prepared for the coming months. As of the start of 2020, we will once again see sisters and brothers who have a very personal message to share: “Here I am!” And their messages will be displayed in many countries of Europe and accessible on the internet—in precisely 20 different languages.

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