From Wednesday 15th February until Sunday 19th February we’ll be inviting the secondary school aged young people connected in our church to take part in “Life Together – An Experiment in Christian Community Living”. You will be familiar with church youth weekends, but Life Together is different. During our Life Together, we will be exploring the claims of Jesus Christ in the context of a normal working or school week whilst sharing in Christian community here in a church building. Our church will become “home” for those few days and we will eat together and live together whilst still taking part in our school day and evening activities. Each day will begin and end with 10-15 minutes of prayer and worship. As church is our home, we will feel free to invite friends home and it is our hope and prayer that our community will grow as the week progresses.
The source and inspiration of “Life Together” is the life and works of the great 20th century Christian pastor, martyr and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His book: "Gemeinsames Leben" ("Life Together") was based on his ideas and experiences leading an underground seminary at Finkelwalde (now Stettin) in Poland just before the Second World War. The mission of the Finkelwalde seminary was to train pastors for the Confessing Church, the church that took a stand against Hitler by confessing that there "was only one head of the church" (and that it wasn't Adolf Hitler!) Dietrich Bonhoeffer refused sanctuary in university postings to the USA and UK. He was arrested in 1943 and was finally executed on 9th April 1945 at Flossenburg concentration camp just weeks before
its liberation and the end of the Second World War in Europe.
For Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Christian life to which Jesus calls us was not one of isolation or escape from the world but rather a joyful and obedient response to the love of God shown to us in Jesus Christ. - the Word made flesh. Christians are people who dare to believe that we can find God working in and through every experience of our lives and not just when we are doing specifically “religious” activities. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “Only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith”.
During our Life Together, we’ll be testing that huge claim. That’s why Life Together is not a holiday, escape, retreat or some sort of wacky cult. It’s not like Big Brother where the contestants are isolated from their normal lives. We are not trying to separate ourselves or withdraw from anything. Our Life Together takes place in the midst of our life of school, college or work, our friends and weekly activities. Just as all of our lives are too!
Grace and peace.
Written by the Minister & Members