To connect @ Mennonite Church Buitenpost

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!

Neighbours’ Day 2017

Neighbours’ Day is a Dutch annual celebration of community, encouraging people to connect with those who live in their neighbourhood. We took the initiative to connect with our street, new and old neighbours, with the Mennonite traditon of a “potluck”.  A potluck is a gathering where each guest contributes a different and unique dish of food, often homemade, to be shared. We welcomed over fourty people and enjoyed time together.  Wheather was excellent! Everybody was very enthusiastic. Hospitality starts at your doorstep.

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The power of vulnerability

On Sunday 10th September our table was at the Drop-Inn Centre / Mennonite Church Almere (NL). Almere, with over 195.000 residents, is a new, planned town that has only existed for thirty-seven years. The Drop-Inn Centre pays social service for over more than 25 years to the “Stedenwijk”.  What a warm welcome we experienced in this small community of people.  In the churchservice we shared about the power of vulnerability. Everyone seems to struggle with being vulnerable. Especially in today’s society where expectations about being succesfull are high and often not easy to meet. By being vulnerable you can also become stronger or give another person the chance to connect with you. This isn’t always easy and needs courage to do so. We also listened to a song of the American singer Beth Hart: “Learning to live”, it calls on us to  ‘sing our own song’ in life.  We built together a brigde from bamboo wood, and we learned that working together can be challenge and fun at the same time. The youngster played games in the playground nearby and after the churchservice there was time for lunch, sharing of the pumpkin-soup and fellowship around the table.  Thanks for the warm welcome!

Pumpkin-soup @nd more

Sunday 10th September we will be visiting the Drop-Inn Centre “Inloophuis De Ruimte” in Almere with our table. Today we are preparing the pumpkin-soup from our home grown pumpkins. The church-service starts at 10:30 PM. We look forward to meet you.IMG_5019

IMG_5029Here are the ingredients for the pumkin soup. It is our own recipe.

For about one liter of soup, you need:

  • 800 grams of pumpkin, cut in small pieces
  • one onion, small pieces
  • little bit of garlick
  • spoon or so of Herbes the Provence
  • laurier, one leaf
  • little bit of chilli powder
  • 3 tomatoes, cut up
  • some pepper
  • vegetable broth (bouillon), one tablet
  • machine: blender

Put some olive oil in your pan and fruit the onion and the garlick. Add the pumkin pieces and the tomatoes. Stir for some time, say 10 minutes.

After a few minutes add 800ml  boiled water, put in the tablet of vegetable broth (bouillon).

Add one leaf of laurier, the spoon of Herbes the Provence and some pepper.

Boil for about 20 minutes, till the pumkin is soft enough. Then use a blender to purify the soup. Add some chilli powder, not to much. Boil for a few minutes.

If the soup is to thick, add more water.

Serve if you like with a dot of creme fraiche.

Enjoy your meal!

 

As good as new

“Everybody seems to be creative”. That was one of the lessons we learned together at Mennonite Church Drachten. And being together creative is fun!  Sunday the 27th of August the brothers and sisters of the Mennonite Church Drachten kicked off the year-theme ‘As good as new”.  What is new?  What will bring the new year for you as a person? As member of church? And how can you make a difference in your community?  Small and large? How can we be a learning community together?

Learning from eachother and with eachother.  The church as community of learning takes a step of faith and also the courage to let things go.  And to be open for the unexpected. This can lead to beautiful meetings, conversations and moments of joy.