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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

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The Easter Epistle and Insert

Thank you to Rev. Paul Corman who is visiting the US for offering this contemplation:

The Easter Epistle and Insert

Easter Sunday this year has come and gone, but the Easter season will continue for 40 days until Ascension.  In these 6 weeks we will hear in the Act of Consecration of Man, the Easter Epistle.  Taking into account what we have heard during Passiontide, we will notice that the motifs continue to transform into the main motifs of Easter.  The “locations” of the transforming activity have remained the same: the heart, blood, the breath, and consciousness.  It is the effects that have changed.

Before in Passiontide, the heart was empty and burning; now it is the tomb that is empty and the heart that is full.

Before, we lived in the cold earthly house, forsaken of the spirit; now we feel the warmth that transforms the beat of the heart into rejoicing and healing power.

Before, it was loss and abandonment that we felt; now we feel fulfillment and the comfort of the spirit.

Before, what touched our consciousness was waiting and a ray of sadness from a tomb of hope that penetrated our gaze; now we experience the vanquisher of death, joy and grace.

It may seem obvious that, with Easter, sadness leaves and jubilation and joy take over our experience.  This is what we feel and celebrate, especially with children.  However, if our celebration takes place mostly in the emotional realm, very soon the worries of life and daily chores will demand most of our attention and the deeper meaning of Easter will fade into the background.  The truth is that Easter has to be the center of our Christian life all year long.  It is to give “flavor” and “color” to all the other festivals and, indeed, to everything we experience throughout the year. This aspect of Easter is seen even more strongly in the prayer inserted in the middle of the Act of Consecration during the festive seasons.  The Easter insert advises us that the Easter resurrection is not only for us humans; it says that jubilation and delight live “in the air around the Earth” and that the breath of the Earth lives in the sun, radiating the power of the spirit. Easter re-unites the spiritual forces of the Earth with those of the Sun through the Christ.  Christ’s deed of Easter brought something of unification back into the universe, something which since the fall had been separated. But even more than that, the human being is inserted into the universal fabric in a way that was never before possible.  Truly, from Easter Sunday onwards, everything is different.  It will, however, take time until human beings become aware of this fact in such a way that from our consciousness, we transform our behavior.  The insert goes on to explain that Christ has entered the pulse of our lives from where he can transform our souls.  First of all, it speaks of the devoted soul.  Devote comes from the Latin “devotus”, given to, offered to, consecrated to.  The prefix “de” means “from top to bottom”, that is, completely, and the word “vote” comes from the Latin verb “vovere”, to consecrate, to dedicate, to offer, but also has to do with another Latin verb “votare”, to make vows, offerings, to promise, to express a desire.  We have several words that come from these verbs: vote, devote, devotion, devout and vow.  The word “devoted”, then, encompasses the religious, social and political fields, revealing the relationship of the religious underpinnings in other areas of life.  Imagine how different the world might be, if we would feel more this undercurrent reality of our voting in an election or when committing ourselves to an impulse or a project, and when taking vows in marriage.

The insert then presents some extraordinary images to make even more vivid what happened with the resurrection: what in strength has risen “from the chains of death”, what in light has been born again in “the life of Christ”, “what heals the self” in the depths of the soul.  It speaks of the human constitution and the transformation of its constituent members, by the forces of the resurrection: “the soul that was dead, lives; the self that was dark, shines, the spirit that was closed springs open and “abounds”.  But, for me, the most striking thing is what follows.  The human soul that was a tomb has been opened and now forms an altar.  Christ as a priest celebrating the offering on this altar, which is illuminated not by candles, but by “the spirit-light of man”.  And again, the insert broadens our view of space and time to the utmost, saying that Christ celebrates this offering at the altar of the human soul “to the worlds afar, to the earth near, now and beyond all cycles of time.”

Could there be more beautiful, more encouraging, more hopeful images, that at the same time reveal our participation in and responsibility for Christ’s work and goals?  In this brief attempt to present the epistle and the Easter insert, we can discover enough material to continue thinking about and contemplating the deeper meaning of Easter, during the 40 days until Ascension, and, indeed, for the rest of our lives.

 

–Rev. Paul Corman, April 2021

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From the organizers of the 2022 Worldwide Conference

From the organizers of the 2022 Worldwide Conference:  Logos–Consecrating Humanity

Dear members and friends of The Christian Community,

We would like to draw your attention to our extended homepage logos-2022.org that includes the Easter Newsletter online in 6 languages. Further, one can travel via internet to all worldwide congregations and find substantive contributions on conference topics, but also reviews of previous large conferences. Those who like to listen can follow the monthly podcast. Those who like to exchange ideas with others may use our internet forum and the bilingual journal “This Moves Us.” as an interactive PDF document. We are currently working on making more multilingual pages available.

Nowadays, we experience for the second time a worldwide Passion of unimagined magnitude. May Easter give us the strength for an inner and outer resurrection.

With best regards,

Wolfgang Jaschinski
Redakteur/Editor LOGOS-2022 Newsletter
newsletter@logos-2022.org

Ulrich Goebel und Tim Gottschalk
LOGOS Tagungsbüro / Conference Office:  Hainallee 40, D 44139 Dortmund
info@logos-2022.org