German church hosts galactic service to celebrate Star Wars release

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

Berlin church celebrates Star Wars service.

Protestant pastor Lucas Ludewig said he and fellow pastor Ulrike Garve wanted to show that “Star Wars” draws on religious imagery and “that the Bible and the Church are part of our culture.” With the film’s theme song — played on the church organ — still echoing around the church, the 30-year-old said the aim was to hold a service that wasn’t “too Christian or too Star Wars, but to find a good compromise.” BERLIN — A Berlin church celebrated a service with a Star Wars theme today (Dec 20), with lightsaber-wielding pastors preaching parallels between Christianity and the blockbuster movie series to costumed parishioners.

Parishioners showed up in costume or carrying lightsabers, while Vicars Lucas Ludewig and Ulrike Garve delivered a talk not about the power of The Force, but about the universal themes that run through Star Wars and Christianity.A church in the German capital invited “Star Wars” fans to attend a special service Sunday themed on the sci-fi blockbuster in an attempt to attract more young people into the pews. It’s hardly a unique idea — I myself performed at least one such sermon at a Christian summer camp where I used to be a counselor — but for a major church to do it on the weekend Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters, it ballooned into a social and cultural event that attracted about 500 people, according to the AP. A few hundred people turned out for the event at the Protestant house of worship four days before Christmas, at a time when many German churches are struggling to keep up attendance, membership and donations.

Ludewig drew from Romans 12:21: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” The pair both carried toy lightsabers while delivering the message — which, between their red blades and black robes, does look a little…Dark Side-ish. An AFP photographer captured images of churchgoers decked out as popular characters from the space epic perched on wooden pews including a few Darth Vaders and a Chewbacca. Of course you have to treat it with respect, but when there’s a global event like Star Wars, it’s ok to jump on the bandwagon,” he said. “I think the whole question of God is very interesting, but getting up early on a Sunday is one of those things.

Local press reports said the church organist Martin Klemenz played a thunderous rendition of the movies’ “da-da-dadada-daaaa-da” theme as clips from the earlier films played on a large screen. The film raked in an estimated US$120.5 million on Friday, its first full day in US and Canadian cinemas, setting an industry record, according to Disney.

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