On Thursday we went on a bike trip with a polish Protestant pastor we met on Wednesday at the pastoral conference. Together we visited Petershagen to his new parish and church and afterwards we had some ice cream.
On Saturday Marta and I cycled to Lübbecke which is about 25km away. Afterwards we attended a service to honor the 200th birthday of Pauline von Mallinckrodt in the dome. She was born in Minden and founded the Sisters of Christian Charity (Kongregation der Schwestern der Christlichen Liebe) of which Sr. Anette and Sr. Angela-Maria are part of.
On Sunday we celebrated Pentecost together and took a short trip to Bielefeld.
Monday evening there was a ecumenical service in the St. Mauritius church. The parishes of Minden are really trying – or at least they seem to be – to overcome the boundaries the separation of the church has created. Ecumene is a topic that is mentioned very often especially during sermons. But people are trying to find new ways to make the church more attractive for others. To explain what’s happening and to build a community which Christian and non-Christian people. The Simeon’s Herberge is one of their projects in which they’re offering special activities like a game evening or cooking together for everyone who likes to join. Furthermore they’re actively approaching people living in Minden. Not to talk about God or religion but just to get to know them and show what the project is about. I think it’s an amazing project showing outsiders that the church is open, accepting everyone and wants to create a local community.
Wednesday evening we were invited for dinner by a pastor and his family who have been in Taizé some times before. It was a beautiful evening for all of us and one of the rare occasions where everyone was speaking English so no one is excluded. The language is actually a bigger problem than we thought in the beginning. If it’s just us three we talk English among ourselves. But if there are more people around it’s hard to keep English as a common language. Either people haven’t learned it or it’s been quite some time since they’ve been using it. Or they just forget that not everyone present is able to speak and understand English. And they haven’t got any bas intentions for sure but it’s hard to constantly remind them not to talk German so pretty often not everyone is included in the conversation which is upsetting. This is why we’re so happy when we are meeting people who are willing to accept having to talk English when they are around us and also try to improve or at least ask for a translation.