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Sunday, 22 August 2010

House church

Today we had a very different kind of Eucharist. The service was held in our Pfarrer's garden and not in the church. It was a Family Eucharist and pretty well attended as we gathered in blazing sunshine under a couple of large gazebo-style tents and our priest in the centre with a small table as his altar under a large umbrella. We had all been asked to bring along a salad or a dessert and Mausi had created a rice salad to a South African recipe (Can't think why she thought that might be fun...) as the Eucharist was to be followed by a barbeque lunch.

The service ran its normal pattern except that, at the sermon, Pfarrer Klaus handed out bottles of 'Bubble Fun' to everyone and then encouraged us to make bubbles with them. Which we did. His sermon then used the imagery of the fragility of the bubble and its beauty as it changes hue to talk about faith and the things that strengthen it or weaken it. A good sermon, one the kids particularly enjoyed. I was surprised at the distribution of the elements to be asked to administer the Chalice and had to do a quick check to make sure I had the words of administration right! These German tenses and gender specific articles of speech are a nightmare for someone learning the language. "The Body of Christ" is easy, it becomes "Der Leib Christi," but "The Blood of Christ" becomes "Das Blut Christi" as 'blood"'is neuter gender while 'body' is masculine ...

I managed to get it right though after a moment's panic as I tried to remember the gender of 'Blut' and it was a wonderful experience to once again be called to minister in this way.

The lunch which followed is one of the nicest experiences I have enjoyed here. We met and talked to a number of new people, the kids had fun in the garden, the adults talked 'shop' or just got to know each other better. This is a nice community, one which has a lot of communal activity during the week as well as the Sunday service. Tomorrow evening I am invited to join the men's 'Sport' group in playing Pool, a game I have never played, but, hey, I'm willing to give it a whirl. I'm told we have nine pin bowling as well to look forward to...

And the German is improving slowly. This might just help speed it along...

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