Samstag, 21. Mai 2016

The beginning

Reformed church of Birmensdorf

Finally we have internet, we have a laptop and both is working together which makes it possible to write in this blog ;) First of all we want to give you a short report about our last 2 weeks we are allready living here in Birmensdorf, which is very close to Zürich.

The three of us arrived on the 7th of May at the trainstation in Zürich. We had a very warm welcome from Sandra, Rene and Edith who invited us, volunteers of Taize, to their parish. On the same evening we were invited for supper with all of them. On Sunday we went to church in Birmensdorf and afterwords we were invited for the traditional mother's day brunch, which was amazing. More than 100 people of the parish came and around 20 men (fathers, sons) prepared everything. It was a happy atmosphere, many families, delicious food - a very nice tradition :)
The next morning we joined the ecumenical group of women, which meets every week. They feel connected through Taize and on this base they take time to share about questions and topics in their lifes. Mainly this group organized everything for us. Thank you :)
In the end of that morning Trudi read the reading of the day (from Taize) and it fit so well in our situation! Incredible. That bible verse, which is written on top of this site, leads us through this month.
Still we didn't know at all what we would do the coming month and which ideas they would have for us. We were incredible curious! Finally we met with Sandra, Rene, Edith and pastor Carl Schnetzer Monday evening. They presented us their ideas of activities and gave us a whole list of people of different institutions around Zürich who we could contact. Everyone of us also received a colorful timetable with some allready fixed meetings. Orange marks our common prayers in church, which take place there nearly every evening.
Morning and midday prayer we are doing in our own small but beautiful flat.

Now we could start to contact all the people and fill up the gaps in our timetable. We were full of enthusiasm and motivation :) 

 Here some of our activities:
- Meeting with a Jesuit who works with students in aki, the catholic university parish led by Jesuits. He offers pastoral care and organizes different events with the students like a supper with refugees for example.   Afterwords he took us to a Taize prayer in the faculty of arts (Toni Areal) which was organized by some students. They try to connect art and faith/spirituality.

- "Food waste" is a project of a student who belongs to aki. Once a week they take the leftovers of a restaurant and distribute it on the next day in aki for the students for free. They can donate some money to support a current project. At the moment it is an Indian Jesuit who is building up a dancing school in India.
We joined the student in taking the food of the restaurant in the late evening and to organize the distribution to the students on the next day.

- Counseling for Youth: We were happy to get such a warm welcome in this house led by the catholic church. They took several hours to show us the different sectors. On one side they offer coaching for youth workers and on the other side they offer profesional counseling for young people between 12 and 28 years, which is for free and anonymous. It is open for every youth no matter which religion or background.

- Invitations for lunch
Several times we were invited for lunch by parish members. We were cooking together and shared about life.

- Meeting with a retired pastor in Urdorf, the next village to Birmensdorf: We had great and interesting talk with him and his wife during lunch. Both of them know Taize since the beginning of the youth meetings and they had many stories to share with us. They were happy to welcome us like they were welcomed when they travelled in Eastern Germany for Taize in the 1980's. Eventhough he is a retired pastor he is still very active and is the responsible for a network for refugees.

- Taize prayer in the crypte of the Grossmünster Zürich: we joined the weekly Friday evening prayer which exists for 40 years allready and which was found by the pastor couple of Urdorf when br. Roger visited Zürich. Today Sandra and Rene of Birmensdorf are part of the organisation team of the prayers.
The evening before Pentecost we helped in a Taize prayer with Eucharist in the same place which was prepared with many candles, icons, flowers and where instruments joined the songs.

- Indian Jesuit dancing for refugees: Pater Saju George from Kalkutta, who worked several times together with Mother Theresa, performed with a young group from India. Around 50 refugees mainly from Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia came to this opportunity of meeting and special program. Afterwords there was the possibility of sharing while eating traditional food cooked by some families.

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