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Can you also be an angel for your neighbor?

Each human being has an angel, thank God.  We badly need him in our chaotic daily lives, for otherwise, we would get into big trouble.  Even when we are about to lose our inner compass, the angel still watches over us and does his utmost to keep us on the right track.  A Dutch saying goes: Children and drunkards have a special angel.

Still, an angel is not sufficient to prepare our way on earth.  What would happen to us if there were no human beings who cross our path?  One person can become as an angel for another when he serves him selflessly.

Christ—even Christ—also needs such a companion on earth, who prepares His way.  “See, I send my angel before you.” (Mt.11:10) This task, the task of John the Baptist, is given to each human being, not only to the greatest of all human beings on earth.  Each of us, wherever we go or stay, is called to stand ready for his neighbor like an angel.  Since Christ lived on earth, since someone asked him: “Who is my neighbor?” we know who that is: for every person we meet on the path of our life, we can become a neighbor.

Keep your eyes and ears open, for in every encounter sounds a question.

You do not only have an angel.

Can you also be an angel for your neighbor?

 

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, July 17, 2021

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St. John’s Tide

When as parents you have taken care of your children for years, when you have spared no cost or effort to give them the best that was possible, perhaps the moment comes sooner or later when they give something back.  As small children they naturally accepted little and large gifts without any idea of what it took to get those for them.  As growing children and rebellious youths, perhaps they never uttered a word of thanks, sometimes even the opposite.  And when that time is also past, when they are experiencing personally what it takes to care for others day in, day out, the moment comes perhaps that the children give something back to their parents, out of their own free will.  Usually, the story starts from the beginning again as soon as our sons and daughters get children of their own.  Then only do they realize what their parents have done for them.

God is as a Father for human beings on earth.  No heartless, despotic tyrant, but a Father who ceaselessly bestows love on us, whatever happens.  Our humanity mostly reacts to this gift like little children: carelessly, ignorantly—or like rebellious youths: mockingly, shrugging their shoulders.

In the Act of Consecration of Man we learn what this gift means to us.  For the Divine Father this is the moment when His beloved daughters and sons respond to His gift out of their own free will.  Every Act of Consecration is a eu-charist—literally: thanksgiving.  In St. John’s Tide this eucharist culminates in the eulogy:

“To the Father God … shall stream our souls’ devoted and heart-warmed thanks.”

 

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, July 11, 2021

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“In your midst already stands one whom you do not know.” (Jn.1:26)

“In your midst already stands one whom you do not know.” (Jn.1:26)

In our fragmented world, which more and more breaks apart into differences and oppositions, there is an open spot in the middle.  You might think of the middle between two extremes, but also of a place in each of us where we come to ourselves.  Now, most of the time this middle is hard to find because we live in such a torn world, and that tear most often runs right through us.

To find the middle you have to learn to walk a tightrope, keeping a balance between extremes, and step by step bridge the chasm of opposites.  And to learn to keep balance, you first have to find it in yourself, usually by trial and error.  The instrument we use in these efforts we call the I.  That is not the little, everyday ego, with which we constantly alternate between fight and flight, between recklessness and fear.  The world is full of egos, and all of them fight for first place.  The true I is only itself, no more and no less.

Only after we have died does the I show itself in its true essence—as one single tone in the world symphony, the harmony of the cosmos.  Then only do we discover: I am that—and without me the world symphony would not be complete.  But during our life we can already practice trying to catch a glimpse of this true I and enable it to manifest as a reflection in our work.  I do this by asking with everything I think or do:  Lord, what is Your will that I do?

“In your midst already stands one whom you do not know.”

Get to know Him by listening to the still voice of conscience, in which Christ is speaking.

 

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan

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North American Newsletter: Summer 2021

News from the wider Christian Community:

North American Newsletter, Summer 2021

AND…

A podcast with Oliver Steinrueck in which he speaks about the upcoming world conference to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the founding of The Christian Community. The conference is called LOGOS — Consecrating Humanity and will be in Dortmund, Germany on October 7-11 2022. This is the first podcast that was offered in English. Click here to listen.

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Giving Thanks

Life can only be understood when contemplated backward, but it has to be lived forward.” That is the life wisdom of a well-known philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard.

Under normal conditions, these two one-sidednesses keep each other in balance. Imagine that we would only go back: we would eventually, literally and figuratively, be unable to make another step in life. And imagine we would only live forward: we would lose ourselves in bustling busyness. Unfortunately, we see the latter all too often: lots of people do nothing but rushing along without understanding where they come from and where they are going.

Of old, it was known that every day we should look back to understand in retrospect what really happened. Through reflection—and most of all self-reflection—we will sooner or later understand the threads of destiny in the fabric of our life. And once we learn to have an overview of all the threads of the fabric, we can lastly be thankful for everything in our life, for joy and suffering, happiness and unhappiness, good and bad luck, because we recognize: it belongs to me. For life is right, in every case.

We take the highest standpoint in the backward contemplation only after we have died. In the life panorama that the Lord of Destiny shows us, we understand backward how we lived forward. If there is anything that connects the living and the dead, it is thankfulness. But as long as we are only thankful for this one human being, for this one happiness that came our way, we have not yet arrived at the right destination with our thanks. The dead recognize whom we have to thank for our existence.

And we? At St. John’s Tide we join in with this highest standpoint, and cry to Him at the altar: “To the Father God, all wielding, all blessing, shall stream our souls’ devoted and heart-warmed thanks.”

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, St. John’s Tide, 2021

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From the planning group for LOGOS  “100 Years The Christian Community” festival 2022


Ninetta Sombart – Baptism in the Jordan

 

Dear members and friends of The Christian Community,

Visit our current homepage logos-2022.org

As of today, the St John’s Tide Newsletter is available online in several languages. One can travel via internet to all worldwide congregations and find a number of substantive contributions on current conference topics, but also reviews of previous major conferences. Those who like to listen can follow the monthly podcast. Those who like to exchange ideas with others will find our internet forum and the bilingual journal “This Moves Us.” as an interactive PDF document available by request.

With best regards,
Wolfgang Jaschinski
Redakteur/Editor LOGOS-2022 Newsletter

Ulrich Goebel und Tim Gottschalk
Tagungsbüro / Conference Office:  Hainallee 40, D 44139 Dortmund

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“I pray for the human beings which You have given me.” (Jn.17:9)

“I pray for the human beings which You have given me.” (Jn.17:9)

When praying we are never alone.  No matter how lonely we are, there are always others who pray with us in silence.  We can notice that especially in the Act of Consecration of Man, where our weak attempts are supported from all sides.  That is also the actual reason why at the altar we form a community: communal prayer gets wings.  The individual forces are not only added together, they multiply, they potentize each other.  More than ever it is necessary in our time to work together in prayer.  “One single one does not help, but whoever unites himself with many at the right moment.” (Goethe)

In the Act of Consecration, we unite in prayer not only with the visible congregation but also with all “those from whom You received before us Your Son’s offering.”  Soon after this sentence is spoken in the Act of Consecration, sounds the Lord’s Prayer.  Have we in that moment connected ourselves with the invisible congregation?  At any rate, they, the deceased, connect themselves with us.

But more than any other, the Father connects Himself with us whenever we speak a true prayer.  In antiquity it was said: “God hears our prayer.”  The psalm in which this sentence occurs does not add: God answers our prayer.  That is up to God alone.  But since Christ lived on earth, He prays with all and for all who want to follow Him.  The High Priestly Prayer, spoken by Christ just before He was taken captive, is one great intercession: “I pray for the human beings which You have given me.”

Therefore we trust, even in the greatest loneliness: when praying we are never alone.

 

Bastiaan Baan, May 30, 2021

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Ordinations 2021


Eight new people joined the work of the priest in the Christian Community on May 14, 15 and 16.
They are pictured above with Rev Vicke Von Behr from the central leadership of the Christian Community and Rev Patrick Kennedy of the Seminary in North America. They are listed below with their new sendings.

Bottom Left  –  Rev Kate Kennedy  – Toronto
                        Rev Elizabeth Majoros  – Denver
                         Rev Lesley Waite –  New Zealand
                         Rev Mimi Coleman – Hillsdale, New York

                         Rev Victoria Capon – Chicago, IL
Top Left –       Rev Anna Silber – Chestnut Ridge, NY
                         Rev Jong Won Choi – Devon, Pennsylvania
                         Rev Jeana Lee – Chicago

 

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Easter Octave

“And while He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. (John 20: 20)

When hearing the word peace, every person will make some association.  More than just an abstract concept, the word evokes images in us.  You can see it before you: a peaceful landscape in the light of the setting sun, a still lake under a blue sky, a little child in deep sleep—all of them are pictures we yearn for, exactly because the world in which we live is such a jumble of unrest, chaos, and conflicts.  And when words and images fall short, there are always sounds that can perfectly express peace: a lofty symphony, a lovely pastoral, or just a simple lullaby.

If there is anyone who knows what peace is, it is Christ.  Not only is He a human being in perfect harmony, but He is also at peace with the world.  How in God’s name is that possible?  Not only with the world in as much as it is still in a state of harmony but also, and above all, with the disharmony of the world.  You can tell by looking at Him.  When after His Resurrection He bestows peace on His disciples, He shows them His hands and His side.  Whoever receives His peace has to see His wounds, has to see what human beings have done to Him.  It is as if with these wounds He wants to say:

My peace is not of this world.

My peace is born out of pain.

Whoever endures the pain with Me,

Whoever has fought the battle with Me,

On them I bestow My peace.

 

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, April 11, 2021