This is a quick follow-up today (Monday April 7th) as our visitors from Taize, France head down to the Houston area for another Taize “Pilgrimage of Trust” gathering (especially for Youth and Young Adults.)
1st. I am grateful to our new friends from Taize, Brother Emmanuel and Brother John, and to all who helped make the Taize Prayer Service at FUMC FW possible during 10:30 Chapel Communion on Sunday, March 30th. Many people spoke of the beautiful music and singing. For some, with a sense of depth well beyond the words prayerfully repeated in song, there was a mysterious sense of God’s Real Presence that lingered throughout the week.
Then, this last weekend, the Taize “Pilgrimage of Trust” gatherings in Southlake at White’s Chapel UMC were amazing. The flow of the Spirit of God’s love and grace was palpable. I smiled as I saw the 3 and 5 year old kids near me who, snuggled up next to their singing mom and dad, seemed to be immersed in this almost magical time of trust and peace. (I also smiled when I realized that our Bishop Mike Lowry was helping lead the service Saturday night.)
The first time I visited the Taize Community in France was in 1995. I had no idea what to expect, and I was blown away by the depth of grace and international intimacy. I felt a deep sense of coming home then in southeastern France. This last week was another Taize homecoming, only this time it was in our own “back yard.”
One last thought for now: As I have been reading our Lenten study, Keeping the Feast by Milton Brasher-Cunningham and reflecting on my experience with the Taize Services, the repetitive ritual and slow simplicity of the prayerful music is clearly a “thin place” in my life where the “barriers between heaven and earth almost disappear.”
I highly recommend that you check out the video below. It is an excellent 10 minute video Brother Emmanuel and Brother John showed us last Sunday in the Good Neighbors Class that can help you understand a bit more about this powerful movement in our worldwide church: