This year, the theme of the Ecumenical Christmas will be ‘No one will be left alone’ and the event will especially highlight the loneliness of the elderly people. Entrepreneur and artist Aira Samulin has been invited to deliver a humanitarian message in the event taking place at Turku Cathedral on the 11th of December.
In addition to her cheerful attitude to life, Aira Samulin is a well-known public figure in Finland. She has often brought up themes related to the aging and the elderly. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland. In her humanitarian message, Mrs. Samulin highlights the fate of war veterans, war widows, voluntary women who served at the wartime (the Lottas), and the children orphaned by the war. She reminds of every person’s right to humane old age.
- Take care of your old age when you know what you want. Otherwise others will decide for you when you no longer know, says Aira Samulin. - We should invest in living at home instead of hospices of hospitals, and solutions to solitude can also be found, she continues.
The event features also musical performances at Turku Cathedral presented by baritone Waltteri Torikka, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Pertti Pekkanen, Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis led by Märt Krell, organist Markku Hieta-Harju, and cantor Jukka Pietilä.
The Ecumenical Christmas in Turku will be celebrated for the 26th time. It brings together different denominations to present an Ecumenical Appeal for Peace for the community. This year, Archbishop Tapio Luoma of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Archbishop Leo of the Orthodox Church of Finland, Diocesan Administrator, Father Marco Pasinato of the Catholic Church in Finland, and the Chairman of the Free Church Council of Finland, Pastor Jori Brander of the Finnish United Methodist Church will present the Ecumenical Appeal for Peace.
- Ecumenical Christmas is a special event, as it brings Christians together to celebrate the birth of the Saviour, and to advance the good message of Christmas. Christmas reminds us of our task of staying close to each other and looking after one another, says Archbishop Tapio Luoma.
Offering collected during the collective singing of hymns will be offered for the fundraising campaign of The Salvation Army ’Help Your Fellow Man’ (Auta ihmistä in Finnish).
Manager of International Affairs and Protocol Services, City of Turku
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Pictures of Turku at Christmas and of the Ecumenical Christmas for the media
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