On Saturday we took a bike trip to a village nearby where we had some drinks and cake. Marta and I were going by tandem (it was the first time for both of us) and it was a lot more fun than we initially expected.
On Sunday evening there was a Taizé prayer in the church next to our accommodation. The group organizes one every 2-3 months. It was very beautiful a lot of musicians joined and they put up gorgeous decorations. We were included in the prayer as well and they asked for advice to make the prayer more like the ones in Taizé. Personally, I didn’t have much to criticize, it was a beautiful prayer and one could see the people organizing it put a lot of effort and heart into it. Afterwards, we gathered in the back of the church with some wine and had the possibility to get to know the people.
Some thoughts about our first week: we fully arrived here. Each of us has developed their personal routine and everyone is preparing one prayer per day. We use the Protestant church right in front of our lodging for our prayers about which the pastor is very happy. He said it’s a gift of God we’re bringing back some life into the church since it is not being used on a regular basis. Each day we help in the soup kitchen for some hours. Our work there is different every day. Sometimes we help prepare the food, we give out the meals, we tidy the storeroom and we talk to the people. The latter turned out to be the most difficult one for the three of us. In the beginning, we were very insecure about how to approach people, we were wondering if they wanted to talk to us in the first place. But they started initiating the conversations themselves and seem to be happy that we’re there to listen. It’s not just homeless people coming to the kitchen. There are also quite a few with too little money to provide the necessities, people without a job and people that feel lonely.
Yesterday I also went to a local school to supervise children staying at the all-day school. It’s just me doing this job and I work there every Wednesday for three and a half hours. I had a lot of fun overseeing the 5th, 6th and 7th graders. They were very curious and asking who I am, what I am doing here, if I went to this high school etc. Also since today is father’s day in Germany (well, it’s more of an unofficial father’s day but today it’s Ascension Day and it’s a holiday in Germany so people just use it as father’s day) we did some crafting and made cards for the kids to gift their dads.
Yesterday we had to move from our beloved hostel to the sisters’ house because the space is needed for a group staying till Sunday. The sisters welcomed us were warmly and we just had to move a few meters. The house is directly in between the Protestant and the Catholic church. One can literally walk from the Catholic to the Protestant one through this house. So they are truly living an ecumene.
Today we celebrated Ascension Day. There was a prayer outside the St. Simeonis church and people from many different parishes joined. It was accompanied with a trombone band and it was very interactive. Afterwards, we had some soup and some drinks were offered as well.