Messiah will be welcoming brothers from the Ecumenical Community of Taizé in France along with young adult (18-30 years of age) pilgrims from across the region (and perhaps beyond) on April 27-28, 2018. The Taizé Community is an ecumenical Christian monastic community in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. It is composed of more than one hundred brothers, from Catholic and Protestant traditions, who originate from about thirty countries across the world. It was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz, a Reformed Protestant.
Many young people come to Taizé every year, but how can they be encouraged to pray and work with others in the places where they live? The notion of a pilgrimage of trust wants to address this concern through large and small prayer gatherings throughout the world. At these, participants are invited to encounter others, and in doing so often discover much more. The pilgrimage of trust is first of all a meeting; with the Risen Christ and with others. Thanks to the times of prayer together, we make ourselves available for God. Through sharing and hospitality, everyone agrees to overcome barriers and differences in order to welcome and enrich one another.
“As we continue the pilgrimage of trust on earth that brings together young people from many countries, we understand more and more deeply this reality: all humanity forms a single family and God lives within every human being without exception” (Brother Alois, Letter from Kolkata).
For Brother Roger, the founder, it was essential not to organize a movement around the community. On the contrary, after taking part in one of the stages of the pilgrimage of trust, each person is invited to go home and live out what he or she has grasped of the Gospel; and to do this with an increased awareness of the life that dwells within them and of the practical gestures of solidarity they can put into practice in their own immediate environment.
In many countries, young adults come together on a regular basis for prayer with songs from Taizé, while remaining in touch with the reality of the local Church. When the meetings in Taizé permit, brothers go off to visit these young people, to support them in their quest. These meetings are like small steps in the pilgrimage of trust; they make it possible to deepen our commitment together in the Church, and to visit local churches.
The brothers wish to support the search for peace and reconciliation wherever it exists, and so now they come to the Richmond metro-region, right here to our little church in Mechanicsville. Working with the Richmond Conference of ELCA Congregations, the Episcopal congregations of Hanover County and other ecumenical partners, we invite you to encounter Christ’s presence.
Full details are to be announced soon. For now, please get to know a bit about the community at their website and from the introductory video below. if you would like to help with the planning or welcome, please contact Pastor Florio via email at MessiahMechPR@gmail.com.