Love Over Hatred
WHY ANNUAL JOINT MEETINGS?
The numerous prayer groups within the company are organized in a decentralized manner and are only networked with each other to a limited extent. In order to provide a platform for Christians within the company to get to know each other better and for mutual encouragement, in 2006 the so-called ‘Christian Meetings’ were launched. Until 2021, these meetings ran under the name ‘Daimler Christian Meetings’. Due to the split of Daimler AG into Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck, they have been called ‘Christentreffen unterm Stern’ since 2022. They usually take place once a year in November.
All employees of Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck, including all former employees of Daimler AG, contractor employees and temporary workers, who are interested in topics of the Christian faith and are committed to Christian values in working life, are invited to the annual meetings. The location, hierarchy level, denomination and church affiliation of the participants do not matter. Members of competitor and supplier companies are welcome as well.
HOW IT CAME TO CHRISTIAN MEETINGS
Impressed by the multitude of Christians he had come to know over the years in the company, Dr. Helmut Keller in 2003 created a list with the names and email addresses of all Christians at Daimler known to him. This list was intended to serve as a means of contacting these brothers and sisters in faith at the appropriate time.
When this list in 2006 had reached around 150 people, Helmut Keller invited all these colleagues to a joint meeting outside the company. The purpose of the meeting was primarily to introduce the Christians within the company to each other and to encourage them to live their Christianity at work.
So it happened that on Saturday, November 4, 2006, the first so-called Daimler Christian Meeting took place in Weinstadt-Beutelsbach. Martin Daum, at that time head of the commercial vehicle plants in Wörth and Akseray (Turkey) and managing director of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, was invited as guest speaker. (Since December 2021, Martin Daum has been Chairman of the Board of Management of the independent Daimler Truck AG.)
The first meeting was attended by 130 colleagues and 15 accompanying spouses. The meeting was so well received that from this year until today, a Christian Meeting takes place annually in November. Today, it is attended by up to 500 people. Invited are all those who want to stand up for Christian values in their daily work. The Christian Meetings are organized by members of the ‘Christians at Daimler & Benz’ network as well as by participants from more than 50 prayer groups within Mercedes-Benz und Daimler Truck.
The focus of the annual Christian Meetings is the presentation of a guest speaker who is specially invited for this purpose. These speakers may be senior executives from the Daimler company, but also well-known speakers from other areas of society. Their lectures and testimonies encourage us to involve God in our working lives and to live our Christian values in the workplace.
In addition to the main contribution of the guest speaker, the events are accompanied by a varied supporting program. In addition to the presentation of appealing Christian songs by a worship band, many other contributions such as testimonies from colleagues or reports from members of foreign prayer circles are on the program. The event concludes with a buffet with the opportunity for a personal get-together and an intensive exchange.
PAST CHRISTIAN MEETINGS
On November 12, 2022, the 17th Christian Meeting under the Star* – previously known as the ‘Daimler Christian Meeting’ – took place in Weinstadt. The event was held under the motto “Work with love & respect”.
In addition to about 300 participants on site, the event was followed live on the Internet by more than 400 people. Entertaining and at the same time inspiring was the authentic contribution of guest speaker David Togni, who gave an insight into his life and reported on his exciting experiences in connection with his life motto “Love Your Neighbor”.
Other highlights of the event were the testimony of our colleague Christof Bunz, the live interviews with the prayer group leaders João Batista Silva dos Santos from São Paulo and Victor Xavier from Banaglore, the CAI infos by Peer-Detlev Schladebusch and the inspiring worship.
For legal reasons (media contract) we are not allowed to publish David Togni’s contribution on the internet. Therefore his appearance was cut out of the recording. Here is the shortened version of the event without Davis Togni’s speech.
*) The former event name ‘Daimler-Christian Meeting (DCM)’ was changed to ‘Christian Meeting under the Star’ as a result of the split of the Daimler Group into Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck.
Date: 13.11.2021 Speakers: Josef Müller, former tax consultant and millionaire fraudster, and Sara Langhirt, mother of four children, who overcame her drug addiction and depression. Lecture title: Career, Cash, Coop
The event was livestreamed in its full length and recorded on our YouTube channel. Here is the link to the video recording in German language.
Date: 14.11.2020 Speaker: Daniel Hoster, Member of the Executive Board of a major international bank and Chairman of the Board of the Dagmar Westberg Foundation. Lecture title: Krisen meistern (Overcoming crises)
The event was livestreamed in its full length and recorded on our YouTube channel. Here is the link to the video recording. When listening to Daniel Hoster’s talk, we recommend following the presentation slides for the talk.
Date: 16.11.2019 Speaker: Daniel Böcking, Deputy editor-in-chief of BILD, Berlin. Lecture title: Ein bisschen Glauben gibt es nicht (It is not possible to believe just a little).
Special guest of honor at the 14th Daimler Christian Meeting was the former CEO of Daimler, Dr. Dieter Zetsche.
Note: At the Annual General Meeting on May 22, 2019, Dr. Dieter Zetsche transferred his position as CEO to Ola Källenius.
Date: 17.11.2018 Speaker: Dr. Stefan Vatter, Berater, Coach, Trainer, Autor und Konferenzsprecher from Kempten/Allgäu. Lecture title: Wie im Himmel – so bei Daimler? (As in Heaven – so at Daimler?)
Presentation by Stefan Vatter:
When listening, it is recommended to follow the presentation slides to the talk.
The contributions of Levin Illi and Luis Jorge Gil Jimenez were also recorded.
Testimony report of Levin Illi:
Testimony report of Luis Jorge Gil Jimenez:
Date: 18.11.2017 Speaker: Dr. Siegmar Haasis, CIO Research & Development Mercedes-Benz Cars. Lecture title: Be a Game Changer
Date: 19.11.2016 Speaker: Dr. Johannes Hartl, founder and director of the House of Prayer in Augsburg. Lecture title: Botschafter des Lichtes am Arbeitsplatz (Ambassadors of light at work)
The German presentation can be listened to or downloaded here:
Date: 21.11.2015 Speaker: Dr. Annette Winkler, Leiterin smart und Vice President Daimler. Lecture title: Köpfe und Herzen aufmachen – was wir von der kanaanäischen Frau lernen können (Opening minds and hearts – what we can learn from the Canaanite woman).
As part of the presentation of the worldwide Daimler prayer circles, the following two video clips from Tuscaloosa (Alabama/USA) and Beijing (China) were shown.
Video clip of a prayer circle in Vance/Tuscaloosa:
Video clip of the Hope Group from Beijing:
Date: 15.11.2014 Speaker: Martin Daum, President and CEO, Daimler Trucks North America, Portland, Orgeon, USA. Lecture title: Christen bei Daimler – das Salz in der Suppe! (Christians at Daimler – the salt in the soup!)
Date: 16.11.2013 Speaker: Robert Fraser, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Lecture title: God@YourJob
Bob Fraser’s talk was recorded and can be listened to or downloaded here:
Immediately prior to the 8th Daimler Christian Meeting, an event of the cross-company network of ‘Christians in the Automotive Industry (CAI)’ took place on the same day and at the same location. At this event, too, Bob Fraser encouraged Christians to take hold of and live out their calling not only in the congregations, but also in business and society. This talk can also be listened to or downloaded here:
Date: 10.11.2012 Speaker: Jürgen Reyinger, Heroldstatt. Lecture title: Gott und Beruf(ung)!? (God and profession/calling!?)
Jürgen Reyinger’s lecture (in German) was recorded and can be listened to or downloaded here:
The life story of Jürgen Reyinger is impressively documented on the website http://www.jr-mystory.de/de/vita.
Date: 19.11.2011 Speaker: Dr. med. Arne Elsen, Hamburg. Lecture title: Gott in der Praxis erfahren (Experiencing God in practice)
Dr. Arne Elsen’s lecture (in German) was recorded in two parts and can be listened to or downloaded here:
The following corporate film from 2011 was shown as a teaser of the event:
Date: 20.11.2010 Speaker: Gerhard Rauch, Managing Director and owner of a mechanical engineering company in Neu-Ulm, Vice President of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC). Lecture title: Christliche Werte bei Daimler – Das Beste oder nichts? (Christian values at Daimler – The best or nothing?)
The lecture of Gerhard Rauch, held in German, was recorded and can be listened to or downloaded here:
The associated presentation slides are available here in pdf format.
Date: 17.10.2009 Speaker: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Leisenberg, Managing director of a company for thermal process engineering and professor in Gießen. Lecture title: Wissenschaft und Glaube – Gegensatz oder Ergänzung? (Science and faith – contrast or complement?)
The presentation of Prof. Dr. Leisenberg was held in German. It can be listened to or downloaded here:
When listening, it is recommended to follow the presentation slides to the lecture. They are available here in pdf format.
Date: 22.11.2008 Speaker: Bernd Oettinghaus, Gebetsleiter der Ev. Allianz und Pastor in Frankfurt/Main. Lecture title: Gebet zwischen Vollmacht und Ohnmacht (Prayer between power and powerlessness)
Date: 22.09.2007 Speaker: Dr. Christoph Häselbarth, Josua-Dienst e.V. Lecture title: Im Alltag Grenzen überschreiten (Crossing boundaries in everyday life)
Date: 04.11.2006 Speaker: Martin Daum, Werkleiter Wörth & Akseray, Produktionsleiter für Mercedes-Benz LKW, Mitglied der Geschäftsführung Mercedes-Benz LKW in Europa. Lecture title: Wo hilft mir mein Glaube bei der täglichen Arbeit? (Where does my faith help me in my daily work?)