As always, a month in the States flew by.
I received my student visa by mail 5 days ago so I’m all legal for a re-entry into China. My most recent newsletter was sent 2 days ago so those who receive that, be looking for it in the mail soon.
I’ve had a lot of highlights, including a cook-out at my aunt and uncle’s house to a few days ago.
Attending Prayer in the Spirit of Taize
Another highlight of my stay was when my mother and I attended a monthly prayer service in the spirit of Taize. The prayer program explained all of this, which was new for me and my mom. The following are excerpts:
What is the Taize Community?
Taize (pronounced tei-zay) was a village in France, the home of an international, ecumenical community founded by Brother Roger. He was the son of a Lutheran pastor who acquired a small farm in the village in 1940. He welcomed those in need to his home, working out a call to follow Christ in community that would attempt to live out the Gospel day by day. In 1949, he was joined by his first brothers.
Today, the Taize Community is composed of over a hundred brothers, both Catholic and Protestant, from more than 25 nations. They make a life commitment to live togetgher in joy, simplicity and mercy as a “parable of community,” a sign of reconciliation at the heart of the world.
As for the service, there are no rules but the 1-hour prayer time is composed of readings, repetitive singing, prayer and lighting of candles to remind us that even when the night is dark, Christ’s love is a fire tha never goes out.
Our Taize prayer vigil was at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in their 1876 church. The theme was “Drought,” with the evening’s donations given to Living Water International (www.water.cc). All services were focusing on the Year of the River, which is Terre Haute, Indiana’s celebration of the Wabash River. (St. Mary’s is located near Terre Haute.)
Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy of the evening, before and after, as a closing of this entry. Next reports will be from China, where I’m sure I’ll have lots of travel news to report.
From Illinois, here’s sending you Ping An (Peace) for your day.