Our last full day in Wittenberg, we challenged ourselves to a high ropes course. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed the fellowship and team building the experience offered us all. We ate lunch with some youth from Oakland and even learned to felt. And.. because it was Day 8 of our Fruits of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt. We looked around town for the spirit of self control.
Today we visited the towns of Eisenoch and Erfurt. Eisenoch is the home of the Wartburg Castle where Frederick the Wise protected Martin Luther after Pope Leo X excommunicated him. It was also where he translated the New Testament. In Erfurt we saw St. Mary’s Cathedral where he was ordained and visited the Augustinian Monastery where he served as a monk and presided over his first mass. It was a great place to make us think about the Fruit of the Spirit – Faithfulness. We’ve be doing this Scavenger Hunt for 7 days and it’s been a lot of fun. We hope you will visit our Facebook page and share your fundings. If you find a different Fruit of the Spirit and would like to share it, feel feel to go back to that fruit’s post and share. We love to hear from you.
We spent the day in Wittenberg. It started with a tour of the Luther House – where we saw his actual Bible (complete with his notes and underlines.) Afterwards we toured the town on bikes. Of course we searched for today’s Fruit of the Spirit – Gentleness.
You can participate in our Fruits of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt too. Just check out our Facebook page and share your findings as a comment to that day’s post!!
- We visited Berlin today. There we saw the usual tourist stops: Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Memorial to Murdered Jews, of course the Berlin Wall, but we were also able to have prayer time in St. Mary’s Church. The Martin Luther statue below is just outside the church. While we were exploring, we also searched for our Fruits of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt fruit of the day – Peace. We have enjoyed all of your posts sharing where you see the fruits in your life. Don’t be shy. If you missed a day you can come by on another. So…to play along, just click on our Facebook page and share in the information.
Tuesday was a nice day – no travel. We instead were able to really get to explore Wittenberg a bit. We learned about Lucas Cranach (and his snake with bat wings,) toured the town of Wittenberg, and searched for joy in our Fruits of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt. We invite you to check out our Facebook Page and play along with us as we search for all the fruits of the spirit.
Monday was the third day of our Fruits of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt and we searched for Kindness. It was another day of travel – about 4 hours by bus from Rothenburg to Wittenberg, but Wittenberg will be home for the Festival. So now we can unpack our bags and only hop on a bus for day trips. We had a great time exploring Martin Luther’s town. Check out Facebook to see where we found kindness and share your experiences with us too!!
Yesterday the fruit of the spirit we searched for was patience. As is often the case in travel – things didn’t go perfectly smoothly. There was a lot of traffic on the way to the Philadelphia airport. Our flight was delayed and when we finally pushed back and thought we were on our way, the weather had caused problems and we learned it would be a while (13 planes ahead of us) until we took off. We landed in Frankfurt 2 hours late to wait even longer because the tram was not available to pick us up. Our group – youth and adults alike – showed great patience and smiled through the difficulties and enjoyed beautiful Rothenburg. We are all just very grateful to have this opportunity to be together and celebrate the Reformation.
You can join in on the fun and post your findings of the fruits of the spirit on our Facebook page.
Our youth began their journey to the Luther 500 Festival in Wittenberg, Germany yesterday. Each day we will share our experience through a Fruits of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt. Even with the travel, traffic and delays, we were able to find examples of generosity. We will post our findings on our Facebook page and we invite you to look for generosity in your day and comment with your findings on our Facebook page.
Generosity – Our high school youth will learn about the Reformation where it happened. They will pray in the church where Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses. This is only possible because of the generosity of our congregation and everyone who supported our fundraisers.
Tomorrow 20 youth and adults will begin their journey to Germany to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Please pray for their travels to be safe and their faith inspired. We will post each day and we welcome you join us in our Fruits of the Spirit scavenger hunt. So check in daily to see which fruit we searched for. Feel free to post your Scavenger hunt findings on our website or Facebook Page.
Good Shepherd will begin participating as a host church for the Religious Coalition’s Emergency Family Shelter on July 22, with our first shelter week being July 22 – 28.
Training for Emergency Family Shelter volunteers from Good Shepherd will be held on Thursday, July 13 from 7-8 p.m. at the church for all volunteers who have completed and returned their applications by June 25. The Religious Coalition will complete all background checks of adults 18 years and older, to include parents of youth who wish to participate.
The biggest need will be for two to three volunteers to help move equipment and cots into the Community Room at 8:30 a.m. on July 22.
Each evening, two – three volunteers will welcome families, and offer snacks and water/juice. Volunteers may offer to read to the children, play board games with the families, or otherwise interact with the families as a loving Christian community. The evening hours are 6 – 10 p.m. Volunteers can also provide packaged or home-made snacks and beverages.
Paid staff is responsible for supervising the residents during their stay in our church “home.” This three-year-old program for homeless families with children provides shelter and supportive services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Additional shelter dates are September 16-22 and December 9 – 15, 2017.
Who are these families? Ordinary moms, dads and kids who for one reason or another have fallen on hard times and need a hand up. To volunteer, contact Peg Marose at email@example.com or 301-639-3099.
The Coventry Cross of Nails Community
Twice so far on this journey I have stumbled across the Cross of Nails Community. First in the Kreuzkirche (Cross Church) in Dresden, and then as part of the Kirchentag worship at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin. Here is the story of the Coventry Cross of Nails Community and the ecumenical reconciliation community in German that is a part of it. With some minor editions the information comes from the Coventry web site and the Kreuzkirche in Dresden. I’ve included the Litany of Reconciliation at the end of these notes. In the wake of the second terrorist attack in England earlier this week it all seems even more relevant to me.
(From the Coventry web site) Following the destruction of Coventry Cathedral during a German air raid in 1940, Provost Dick Howard made a commitment not to seek revenge, but to strive for forgiveness and reconciliation with those responsible. During the BBC radio broadcast from the Cathedral ruins on Christmas Day 1940 he declared that when the war was over we should work with those who had been enemies ‘to build a kinder, more Christ-like world.’
The words “Father Forgive” were inscribed on the wall of the ruined chancel and two charred beams which had fallen in the shape of a cross were bound and placed on an altar of rubble. Three medieval nails were formed into a cross, and the Cross of Nails quickly became a potent sign of friendship and hope in the post war years, especially in new relationships with Germany and the developing links between Coventry and the cities of Kiel, Dresden and Berlin.
The Community of the Cross of Nails has its origins in this courageous vision, and today nearly 200 Partners form part of this Community as they work and pray for peace, justice and reconciliation within their own communities and countries. Their ministry may focus on politics, race, religion, economics, gender or sexual orientation; it may address war and violent conflict, post conflict restoration or healing; it can have broad and far-reaching, national or regional consequences, or it can make a significant difference to local communities and individual people’s lives.
CCN Partners can be churches, reconciliation centres, prisons or peacebuilding NGOs: any body of people who have a heart and a need to pursue reconciliation in their own lives and the lives of others. Partners are encouraged to link up within countries and regions and to support each other – both practically and prayerfully.
(From the Kreuzkirche materials) The Cross of Nails challenges us Germans to continuously come to terms with our past and with the tensions of the present in the spirit of truth and reconciliation. In 1991 the German section of the Community of the Cross of Nails was founded as an ecumenical registered society bringing together already established Cross of Nails centers and individuals.
In the “spirit of Coventry” we are committed to work for the following aims:
We aim to pray and to work in the spirit of reconciliation according to our common discipline
We uphold the commandment “love your enemies” in concrete situations
We promote dialogue between young and old, between locals and strangers
We seek ways to resolve conflicts without violence
We face German history and work within the communion of nations to grow understanding for each other
We endeavor in particular to encourage the cooperation of young people all over Europe and support understanding of each other under the sign of the Cross of Nails.
The Coventry Litany of Reconciliation
The Litany was written in 1958 and focuses on the seven deadly sins. It reminds that when we pray about the problems of the world around us, we need to begin by acknowledging the roots of those problems in our own hearts. The Litany is prayed at noon each weekday in Coventry Cathedral. On Fridays, we pray the Litany in the ruins of the old Cathedral and are joined in prayer at that time by many of our partners around the world.
THE COVENTRY LITANY OF RECONCILIATION
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you
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Copyright © 2017 The Community of the Cross of Nails.
Reformation 500 Trees
During this year of celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation 500 trees are being planted in Wittenburg, Germany. Good Shepherd members participated in the dedication of one of the trees when we were in Germany in May.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has donated 500 trees to the Delaware-Maryland Synod to be planted throughout the Synod. Kris Kennedy attended a program and tree planting instruction at Mar-Lu Ridge in April and received our trees—5 Eastern Redbuds and 2 Oak trees. These trees have been planted on the Good Shepherd campus.
We will be dedicating the trees as part of our Reformation 500 celebration. Details to follow.