Reflections From A Wittenberg Coffee House-The Joys of Transition

I am back.  Had a great weekend in Berlin visiting a friend and greeting other friends who are arriving in the country.  Even the 12 hours at the airport on Monday was a good thing as I was able to meet and greet participants on the Lost and Found Luther Fest 500.  It was a good day.


Luther Fest 500 is going to be awesome.  The German Travel Bureau has listed Luther Fest 500 as being in the top 10 of festivals in Germany this summer.  Today the group is doing service projects in the community and will in the afternoon be blessed to experience to leading theologians from the Netherlands talk about perspectives on the Reformation.  Wednesday and Thursday are travel days.  LeRoy Wilke and I will be leading the experiences in Erfurt and at the Wartburg.  Really looking forward to that experience.  Friday is the day for interest centers.  I am leading one that I am clearly labeling as a time for free and open thinking.  We are going to briefly explore why Luther wrote the 95 Theses but we will then spend most of our time writing a 95 Theses for the 21st century.  The group will be asked to identify the questions they think need to be asked that might lead to an ongoing Reformation.  WHAT WOULD YOU PUT ON THE LIST?


The joys of technology.  When I first started coming to German in 1987 I came as one being trained by Herb Brokering for these cultural experiences.  When we would cross through Check Point Charlie, going from West Berlin to East Berlin, I knew that in essence I was losing contact with my world.  We were able to make the occasional phone call, but, we knew those were being monitored by Stassi (secret police).  The time in the East was a time of isolation from the world that I knew.


Well, today I spent an hour in my weekly time of prayer and support with The Community of Lutheran Deacons.  By using Skype from the lobby of the Luther Hotel we were able to join in conversation as well as our time for praying for one another and then praying a Diaconal Litany.  These time as community are special and supportive.  I view my work in Wittenberg as diaconal and have chosen to serve wearing the pin the identifies me as a member of the community.  It is good to be connected.  Now to get the times set up for Skyping children and grandchildren.


One of the things that has struck me since being here is the vast change that has taken place since 1989 when The Wall came down.  Berlin is now a unified and beautiful city.  Public transportation makes things accessible with an efficiency that is amazing.  When I came in 1987, great portions of the East were still in rubble from the World War II and life was rather grey and bleak.  Now the restorations go on but it is an amazing transformation.  In many ways I am thankful to have experienced life in both worlds.


So life goes on and the journey is blessed by being able to stay connected.  God is in the midst of it all so on we go.  Until later……….

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