From 10 – 13 May 2018 we have visited the European Mennonite Conference (MERK 2018). The tenth conference took take place in Montbéliard in the Burgundy Franche-Comté region, where the French, Swiss and German borders meet. During the conference Mennonites from all over Europe met. The theme was this year: transmission; the story you can’t keep to yourself. It was a good time to share with many people about our project Menno’s Travelling Table and to prepare together for our trip through Europe this summer. We where thankfull to be part of this special conference and have fellowship together.
At 15th April we were welcomed with our Travelling Table in the Mennonite Church of Rottevalle (NL). With the church community we discussed how you can be meaningfull and have an impact on your local community. We shared examples and what it means in daily life. We learned that in small things we can make a difference for those around us. We are invited to do our own part, small but meaningfull. It was a inspiring morning and we say thanks for the hospitality.
Spring is coming we experienced in April. We travelled with our table in the nearby community centre in Leeuwarden in the district Huizum. We were warmly welcomed by the committee and had a nice activity with the twelve children. We decorated cakes. Life is about sharing and also showing creativity. And everyone could show her or his talent.
Earlier this year we received an invitation from Zeeland, to join the Mennonite community in Middelburg during our Springholiday. For this sunday our theme was: to be on the way. Everyone of us is somehow ‘on the way’ in his of her life. Also the Mennonite communities or ‘on the way’ if you look at history, present and future of them in the Netherlands. We talked about what it means to be on the way. Do you want certainties, is it possible to plan your life, or not? Or you open for the unexpected? Do you hold on to things that look like certainties or do you let go? We told about our ‘being on the way’ with Menno’s Travelling Table, how we got to that project and what it means in our lives. At the end of the gathering everybody wrote down or drew his or her interpretation of ‘being on the way’.
We touched down with our travelling table at the 3rd January in our home city Leeuwarden. In the town-district of Bilgaard. It was a fresh start of the new year 2018, during a real storm, with an activity for eleven children. We had the joy to make cakes and decorate them. Each of the children choose his own theme and used his creativity to make a nice cake. We shared what it means to celebrate, what kind of festivities you celebrate and why it’s important to share joy and happiness. This can be with your family, friends or schoolmates. And if you share the cake, there is again a moment of celebrating life and care for those around you. The children brought their decorated cake home, to share. We are thankful for the enthusiasm of the children, they gave 2018 a ‘fresh start’.
Sunday 12 November 2017, we participated in the Mennonite Church Buitenpost (NL). The church built in 1957 by 24 young volunteers of the Mennonite Voluntary Service (MWS), from eight countries, still reflects the warmth and hospitality of 60 years ago. We shared about the importance to ‘share’ and what it means to connect. When a community or group of people connect, you experience ‘diversity’. Diversity can be challenging but also enriching. We learned that it is important to make time to connect, with your family, neighbours or churchmembers and by doing so you experience the ‘richness’ of that other person. You can start today, at your own table!
Sunday 12th November 2017, we will be travelling with our table to the Mennonite Church Buitenpost (NL). We are looking forward to meet you. Churchservice starts at 10:00 AM. The theme is: sharing and connect @ the table. Welcome!