Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sojourning at the Taize Community

 July 9 --- on to the Taize Community located in the Burgundy region in southeastern France.  We have long been attracted to this community; Carol often participates a Taize-inspired service Sunday evenings in Portland. So to have the opportunity to spend time at where it all began was over-the-top incredible.
The concept of Taize came as an inspiration to a young Swiss, now known affectionately as Brother Roger, who in 1940 founded Taize as a reconciliation effort between Protestants and Catholics. The community of one hundred brothers comes from thirty different countries  to worship and work based on shared principles of peace, justice, reconciliation and hospitality.

Meal time, patient gathering in line for simple meals

And most amazingly, the brothers welcome thousands of pilgrims every year to join them in community life. More amazingly, the huge majority of these visitors --- especially in the summer when we were there ---- are young people from all around the world!
What vitality and energy we experienced --- that was over-the-top as well! (And thankfully we
discovered the quieter area for residence, meditation and study groups early on.)

We spent a week in community, which is the typical length of stay. Some pilgrims do remain for extended lengths of time. This is the path from the common areas of worship, gathering and dining to our lodging. John stayed with men from Germany, France, Austria, the UK and California; Carol slumbered in a lower bunk in her room joined by three very exuberant friends from Germany. Other than the challenge of sleeping through snoring sounds (not our own, of course!) it was a delightful experience.

A short walk down a wooded path led to this
beautiful lake, perfect for contemplation ---
and naps!

Our daily schedule included gathering
three times a day for worship
in meditation and song.

Our week at Taize came to an end, for it was time to meet Jody and Kevin. And though we left Taize, our memories of connection, worship and reflection in this amazing community will be with us forever.

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