hope opens ways of creativity 2

The 8th of June has been a very special day for the parish of the Maarja Magdaleena Church in Mustamäe.
Since they started to pray together nine years ago in a small circle with services just one time a moth, and the official founding of the congregation in 2010 it has been a long journey. Right now the church has its location still in a small cellar in the district, but it is a fixed establishment of Mustamäe with regular Sunday services, a Taize prayer once a month and many social involvements and support of families, who live in difficult circumstances.

From the beginning on they were praying for the opportunity of building an own church, as there are no churches in the district of Mustamäe. The area has been built up mostly in the soviet time, where Christian and non communist movements have not been well supported .

After a long time of praying, hoping and preparation, the construction work  has started in March this year.
And finally on the 8th of June the cornerstone for this new born Church has been placed.
It was a beautiful celebration with music and touching words and prayers by congregation members and church leaders.

Cornerstone Celebration

Malena: Hearing this story and beeing part of this important moment reminded me of the first proposal from Taize for 2017 „Together opening path of hope“.

„This hope is not a facile optimism that shuts its eyes to reality, but an anchor cast into God. It is creativity. Signs of it are already found in the most unhoped places on earth.“

Going back to the very beginning of the Mustamäe Congregation it almost seems to be impossible that one day, they would possibly have their own beautiful church. But in constant prayer and hoping against all hope (Romans 4:18) they showed that hope as a confident trust and believe can bring a dream to reality.
Pastor Tiina said to us: „In the moment were we have no possibility of finding a conclusion ourselves we start to trust, that the Lord will have an answer for us.

Chruch

hope opens ways of creativity 1

Our host Ülle is not only involved in the diaconical work of the church, she also works in Peeteli – an NGO (Bethel’s Centre of Pastoral Care).

In 1997 a group of concerned citizens started to offer food and support to a group of young children, who lived abandoned in a house which has been in really bad condicions.

Slowly realizing that this is after all not changing the situation of the children for real, they decided to open a day care center to welcome children and young people in need.
Today they also offer places to live for those who wish to stay.
Many of them have parents who are not able to take care of them, this forced the children to care for each other and to built up own little communities.
It has taken a lot of patience to reach out to them, as children who live in such abandoned circumstances, often loose all their trust in adults.

This people gave them a chance for a better life – offering a possibillity to stay by following some rules, like going to school. Without forcing someone into this system, they made a great gift to the today grown ups –  they gave them a future.
We visited Peeteli, shared a few hours with the children, social workers and volunteers and could whitness the evolvment this place made.

Childrenshome Peeteli

“Jesus, our hope, you turn us into the humble of the Gospel. Our deepest desire is to understand that what is best in each of us is built up through a simple trusting, and even a child can do it.” (7. Luke 10:21)

the first week passed by so quickly

On Monday we went to see the TV Tower – on the top we had a good (not amazing, because of the fog  😉 ) view over Tallinn, but that helped us to concentrate and admire especially the neighbourhood.

In the afternoon we went to the prison – there we had a Taize prayer with female prisoners. The congregation is organizing this prayers once a moth and sometimes as well in the prison for men. During the prayer a lot of questions came to our heads: Why are these normal women, sitting in front of us, here? What happened in their life? What thoughts are in their heads? It was really nice to share this moments of singing and praying together with them.

At the end of this day, Tuuli – one of the first persons who was at the beginning of the Mustamäe community – invited us for a very delicious and homemade Indian dinner.

Dinner at Tuuli

On Tuesday at 10 o´clock we had Bible meeting in the Mustamäe church with some members of the congregation. The fragment which was considered came from Sunday´s gospel: about Jesus as a vine.  Funny fact: during this reflection we were eating fresh grapes!

Later we worked in the MAGDA Missionary Secondhand Shop. Some profits and stuff, mostly donations from Norway, are distributed to poor families in Tallinn. That`s why there is still a lot of work and volunteers are really needed! Our tasks were cleaning, babysitting, hanging clothes – we were really happy of contributing there, even in a little way.

Tuesday´s evening we spent in Saku – a little village outside of Tallinn – where we had a Bible School about the Job Book with a little Bible quiz and after that a sharing about Taize and a short Taize prayer. Thank you for inviting us!

 

 

We are confident that if we ask God for anything, and it is in accordance with his will, he will hear us. (1 John 5,14)

the first days

We spent a truly wonderful weekend. Since we arrived to Tallinn, we have met a lot of big-hearted, caring and beautiful people. We are so thankful and surprised how much goodness we have received.

Friday was sightseeing day. Teet, a member of the congregation, showed us around in the old town. Most of it was built in the 13th century and 70 % of the historic center is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Together we visited several Orthodox, Catholic and protestant churches. The different congregations are well connected, as there are just very few active Christians in Estonia.

For lunch we met up with Tor Eivind from Norway, who is a volunteer of Mustamäe Church.

In the evening we went to a youth meeting in one of the biggest churches in Tallinn. We were absolutely surprised and enchanted – young people gathered in a cozy room, full of love and laughter. We were welcomed so warmly, we ate a bit, sang songs, shared about our Taize experiences, played games and at the end we had a small bible study. The fragment to meditate was about freedom – freedom in Christ.

Youthmeeting Bibelstudies

The whole Saturday we spent with our host – Ülle.  We took a long walk through the district Mustamäe together with three families from the congregation. They also joined our daily prayers.

And Sunday – the Lord`s day. On Sunday the Mustamäe Church has a special service for families, at 12 o´clock and a regular Sunday service at three. Both prayers have been supported by musicians and we had for the first time the possibility to enjoy Estonian church songs.  After both services we sat together with the members of the congregation, and had tea, snacks and nice conversations around a big table.

Thank you Lord for these wonderful days!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5,1)

Welcome to Tallinn!

Happily and safe we arrived to Tallinn! Greetings from here!

Yesterday the three of us finally met each other in Riga and went together to Tallinn. There Pastor Tiina picked us up and we had a very warm welcome by our host Ülle, who lives in Mustamäe and who is also doing diaconical work in the church.

Tiina is the Pastor of the Maarja Magdaleena Church in Mustamäe, which  belongs to the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) and is located in the Mustamäe district in Tallinn.

Almost 9 years ago they started with a very small congregation with around 5 people. In the beginning they also had no room/ building in which they could pray. So they started to rent rooms from time to time. The last years they rented constantly a room in a cellar and held the prayers there. During this time the congregation grew a lot. At the moment it involves 100 people, half of them are children.

During the last years they prayed a lot that it would be possible to build a church in the future. And how God is surprising us so often, despite all difficulties, they could start to build a church in Mustamäe this summer. In one week there will be the cornerstone celebration of the new church. What a joy!

Today Tiina also explained to us more about the plans for the upcoming weeks. Two weeks we will help with the camp for children between 7 and 12 years old. In the rest of the time we will take part in Taizé prayers around Tallinn and also in other parts of Estonia, get to know more about the Estonian culture and we will have for sure a very varied and fullfilling time.

_MG_8710

This first day was already full of wonderful togetherness.
We are so thankful for every moment here and for every single person, who we are meeting and who is praying together with us!

“Peter said: I now really understand that God has no favorites, but that in every nations he loves those who revere him and act justly.” (Acts 10: 1-35)

 

our small community

MALENA

Hi I am Malena, I come from Germany and this is my second time taking part in the small provisional communities.
Going into communion with others is always a bit of a challenge. We can grow so much by doing this even if not everything we will see is going to please us.
Over the last 3 Years living in different Christian Communities, I discovered a deep beauty in sharing my life with others. I received so much through all my experiences and every time I go, I hope to be able to give a little bit back.
But in the end, I guess it is more about making a connection. To share live among different cultures, beliefs, opinions and backgrounds and to learn to focus on what unites us more than what separates us from one another.

“Señor, que florezca tu justicia, y tu paz empape la tierra. Oh Dios, que florezca tu justicia, y se llene nuestra vida de ti.”

PAULINA

My name is Paulina, I’m from Poland. I like foreign languages, reading books, walking, doing things for the first time and listening to people. I love simplicity! And new challenges. From time to time I enjoy keeping silence. I have a plenty of favorite Taize song, but my most favorite is “Bóg jest miłością”. It is a reminder for me that God’s love and mercy is huge, unimaginably huge, so everything what we need it is just trusting that He has a plan.
I’m so happy of the fact that I can bring some of the wonderful Taize spirit to Tallinn and I have a possibility to spend there some time building community, meeting new people, praying together and just being with those, who believe in the same God as me. I’m Catholic, so living in a Lutheran parish is absolutely new for me, but I’m pretty sure – it will be an enriching and worthwhile experience.

HELENA

Hello!
My name is Helena, I’m from Munich in the South of Germany.
To describe myself a bit: I like…
…being with people, listening to them, learning from them. Everyone has his own story to tell and his own lesson to teach. What can be more interesting?
…being creative. Creating things with my one hands. For me a really good way to calm down.
…mindfulness. Taking a deep breath, realizing where I am at the moment. It gives me energy and makes it easy to be grateful.
…exploring. New countries, new cities or maybe just the street in my neighbourhood, where I usually don’t walk?

In 2016 I had the opportunity to spend two moths in Taizé as a volunteer. Weeks of community, love, friendship, learning and growing, joy, silence, God’s presence, trust, peace and weeks of just being content and totally thankful.

Now the next step…in less than two weeks the provisional community in Tallinn is going to start. Hopefully an adventure, an experience full of joy, love and God’s presence, maybe challenging or eye-opening as well, but for sure somehow enriching!
I’m very curious and grateful already!