Published on January 15th, 2015 | by ABCUSA0
Don’t Miss this Opportunity: A Pilgrimage to Taizé
Dear American Baptist,
As a young pastor hungering for a deeper relationship with Christ, I visited Taizé. My week there answered my quest for a spirituality that spoke deeply to the heart and the call to justice and peacemaking. Part of the richness of the experience was worshipping and studying with folks from all over the world. We offer this pilgrimage for those who wish to explore new depths of Christ’s love for them and all creation.
A. Roy Medley, General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA
This Pilgrimage to Taizé is primarily created for those aged 17-29, though everyone is welcome. As you may know, the Taizé community in France has become a gathering place for young adults from all over the world. An ecumenical monastic community for over 40 years, Taizé is perched on a hilltop in the Burgundy region of France, where over 100 brothers from many countries welcome pilgrims from all over the world for a week-long experience of worship, prayer, Bible study, and community building. In this setting, young Christians have an opportunity to meet the world Church, to develop life-long spiritual practices, and to reflect on their call to follow Christ.
As an added bonus, the group will also visit the Chartres cathedral, Paris, the pilgrimage city of Vezelay and the medieval village of Brancion in the heart of Burgundy.
“One of the most incredible parts of the week I spent at Taizé was the community. When we arrived at Taizé, I felt a bit like the new kid on the first day of school in a foreign country. But despite the fact that there were people from many different countries, with many different languages (fortunately most people did speak English), with different cultures, different beliefs and denominations, I have never made friends so easily and quickly. That place was so full of peace, trust, hope, love, friendship, acceptance, simplicity, unity, and community. It was unlike any other experience I have ever had, it was unlike any other place I have ever been to. Even though I was only there a week and its half way around the world, Taizé quickly became one of my favorite places and a home away from home.”
“In the silence, my soul felt energized and quickened by a profound sense of two things: of Christ’s love – of His for me and of mine for Him. And I truly felt His holy presence in a different and deeper way than I usually do. I was changed by my time in Taizé …I know I was. When I returned, I knew that what I wanted more than anything was just “to be still in the presence of God.”“That is the “Wow” of prayer: that comes after you finally allow yourself to unpack all your ‘stuff’ and to simply sit silently in the presence of God.”
-Rev. Ruth Merriam
“Taizé was an amazing experience! Taking time to slow down and listen is such a rarity in our world and Taizé is the perfect place to step out and make it happen. There is such a feeling of peace and community; to share the experience with people from all over the world just enhances it all. Traveling on a pilgrimage with Brad is worshipful, peaceful, educational, refreshing–every follower of Jesus should make time to share in such a journey!”
“Refreshing. Hopeful. Rededicated. Awed. Joyful. Renewed. Full. All of these words can easily and simply describe a week at Taizé to someone who has not been. Spending a week at Taizé and fully immersing in a wholly unique, peaceful, community lifestyle allowed me to reconnect with the Spirit and grow immensely.”