In the summer of 2019 we have travelled with our table through Germany and Austria. We started in the area of Frankenthal where we met with the “Mennoniten-Brüdergemeinde Frankenthal”. We experienced the hospitality of our brothers and sisters and heard their impressive history, that they experienced in Ukraine, Russia and Kazakstan. We saw their strong faith and sense of community. This can be an example for many other Mennonites worldwide.
In Austria the mennonites are small in number, but have some vibrant churches. Most of them are younger than 50 years old. We headed for the city of Steyr and spent time with the church members of the “Mennonitische Freikirche Steyr”. On Saturday – during the hot summerweek – we placed our table in the Schlosspark and welcomed people to join us in a conversation and sharing of food and drinks. We had some visitors and could share about the local Mennonite church. On Sunday we prepared the churchservice together. We asked ourselves the question: “How can we be a welcoming church in the 21st century”. The Mennonites in Steyr learned us, what it means to be a thankfull, open and welcoming church.
Later on we continued our trip to the city of Gmunden. We spent three days there and did some activities with some of the churchmembers and also went out with the younger kids of the church, as part of our “youth ministy”. We had a great fellowship at the lake with one of the families. Together with the kids we had a great time walking in the mountains of Gmunden.
Our last station this summer was the city of Regensburg. In this medival town the Mennonites have a long history, The church is located in the district of Burgweinting, the fastest growing district in Regensburg. The community has various programms for youth and kids. We prepared togther with the pastors the churchservice around our table and had a pottluck. We talked abouth the theme: how can the church be a counterpart to society’s online community? How can we be an off-line community where we can share our faith and lives? The time in Regenburg was very inspiring and meaningfull to us.
Reflecting on our journey in this summer we are very thankfull for all the people we met and the churches who welcomed us. And we were happy to share around our travelling table, our faith and creating a sense of community together. We look forward to share the stories at home and are excited where a next journey will lead to.