Ecumenical News April

Not a lot of news on the ecumenical front this month. Every month I try to look for inter-esting interconfessional activities, events and initiatives. Utrecht is a big city, and there is a lot going on. There is no need to keep ourselves confined to our own circles. We can learn from other Christians and from other churches and we can celebrate our common ground in Jesus Christ. Of course, I try to give a special emphasize on events where HTC is involved, Utrecht-based events or English language. Do you know any such events? Let me know, I am happy to include them.

One of the things I wish to bring to your attention is Oorsprong Mini Festival, a brand new one day festival in Utrecht were yFestivalOorsprongouth can meet Jesus through music. The festival is an initiative of De Poptempel, a young collective of music lovers that originates in the youth work of the PKN. De Poptempel aims to reach out to young people via popular music, to show that the Christian faith is not redundant but very much alive and present in a lot of modern music. The website is not fully finished yet, over the coming weeks more bands, workshops and artists will be added to the list of performers.

Date: June 18. Location: Old Post Office on de Neude.

The secPray as you Goond thing I would like to mention here is something I re-discovered during Lent: the daily podcasts from Pray-as-you-go. If you have difficulty making time for a morning prayer, like me, this may be a solution. Pray-as-you-go offers a daily 15-minute podcast in audio recording that can be downloaded or played online. The prayer follows the same routine every morning in a typical Anglican approach. After some peaceful music there is a Bible reading, some meditative questions, a re-reading of the text and time for open prayer. It ends with the Grace. It is a good way to start your day in the comfort of your home, if you find (or make) the time, but for me the appeal of Pray-as-you-go is the fact that you can pray wherever, whenever.

It is ideal for in the bus, train, on a bike or in the car. Don’t disregard traffic safety, perhaps praying in the car is better left for when you are stuck in traffic. I wouldn’t promote a lack of attention in the traffic due to prayers! My daily cycling route to Utrecht is half an hour and pretty straight forward (literally), so ideal to listen to the podcast.

The podcasts can be downloaded, played online, or played via an app and for convenience also two weeks ahead. The original English initiative has gained a steady popularity over the last few years. Since last year there is also a Dutch version.