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Church initiative near the Hofgarten: Many Bonners stop by to just say “thank you”

Church initiative near the Hofgarten : Many Bonners stop by to just say “thank you”

It is a simple thing to do and it has such a big impact - simply saying “thank you”. The Protestant church district in Bonn invited passers-by to stop by and express their thanks. Many Bonners took advantage of the opportunity.

The word “Danke” ("thank you") appeared in large letters in front of the Kreuz Church near the Hofgarten on Saturday. In the run-up to the harvest festival, the Protestant Church in Bonn had organized a day of action with the theme "Just say thank you", inviting passers-by to stop and spontaneously give thanks for people and experiences that have made a positive impact recently.

"A simple thank you has the power to change the world, it saves a bad day and puts a smile on the face of those around us," said Pastor Tobias Wieczorek from the Evangelical Church District of Bonn, who supported the initiative together with Pastor Martin Engels and Martina Baur-Schäfer. "Thank you!" is not only the shortest way to show appreciation, "it's also the shortest prayer. And it has a positive effect on our togetherness and also for ourselves," Wieczorek said. Passersby were able to use chalk to write their own personal message of thanks in large letters on the square and then take a photo. The Protestant Church also distributed postcards with different picture motifs that could be sent to friends and relatives.

"Thank you" idea is well received by the community

"Many stop by enthusiastically and find the idea very nice. You can immediately see people thinking about who they could send a card to. We are pleased that the initiative is so well received," said Wieczorek. Sam Heilen, 23, knelt in front of the blue capital letters and drew a name on the pavers with chalk. "I thank my friends and work colleagues because no matter how difficult it is in my private life or at work, I can rely on them one hundred percent," the health care and nursing student said. In everyday life, the Bonner often says thank you. "Maybe also to compensate for the fact that there is little appreciation for achievement or merit in today’s society." But showing gratitude is very important, because it triggers a positive effect in the other person, Heilen said.

Thankful for family

Merle Kirscht (46) was very grateful for her daughter: "I left my wallet at a rest stop yesterday and my daughter called there today and was able to locate it," the lawyer was pleased to say. She often says thank you automatically in her everyday life. "Most of the time, I really do mean it and am aware of what the person has done for me," Kirscht said. She usually earns a smile for showing her appreciation. Natalie Haller (28) was invited to a wedding at the Kreuz Church on Saturday. The Dusseldorf native was grateful that the ceremony could take place at all and that everyone was allowed to attend. "But I thank my family the most because they are always there for me. People who are around you often, you just thank them too rarely," Haller said.

In everyday life, she says that a "thank you" is often also seen as just a "cliché." "The fact that you really mean it is expressed far too rarely," Haller said. She resolved to pay more attention to this now: "It is actually very simple to say thank you, and it has so much of an effect on people," Haller said. With the day of action, the church wanted to send a sign of hope, Wieczorek explained. "In a time marked by so many crises and disasters, climate, floods, Afghanistan." In the evening, the final service of the week was held with the Kreuz Church choir, and the renowned Bonn pianist Fabian Müller and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, playing Beethoven's Piano Concertos 4 and 5 to conclude the event. (Orig. text: Niklas Schröder / Translation: ck)