Pilgrimage Abroad: Taizé, France

Ski Week Pilgrimage Abroad is an annual pilgrimage trip for CLUE (high school) students during the yearly winter ski week break to visit unique communities who offer particular lenses to learn from on Christian spirituality. Following the trip, youth ministry and the pilgrims host a fundraiser, where students will report back on their experiences and lead us into Lent.

Equipping Our Youth to Claim their Own Spiritual Discipline during Ski Week Pilgrimage Abroad to Taizé

By Addie Domske, Director of Youth Ministry & Diana Aldrich, Worship Elder

At the end of World War II, reformed Protestant Roger Schütz founded a community of brothers, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, in Taizé, France, a village in the Burgundy area. The focus was to work and pray for peace and understanding between the diversity of the world’s Christians. In the 1970s young people began to visit the community, and today over 100,000 youth from around the world travel to Taizé throughout the yearto spend a week in spiritual retreat. In order for the worshippers to have a common spiritual language, simple songs written in a variety of languages are sung, repeating over and over again as the worshipping community deepens into prayer.

 

We have a rich tradition of SVPC worshipping at Taizé. Diana Aldrich, Dale Bracey, Wouter de Groot, Nancy Koski, Beth Pole, Jim Peterson, Lynn Peterson, and Tjitske Postma have all nourishment there, and our 7:45 a.m. Early Light service each Sunday is a reflection of Taizé worship style and principles. You mightfound spiritual 

recognize Taizé songs Ubi caritas (Live in Charity), Nada the turbe (Nothing Can Trouble), Eat This Bread, and Magnificat (Sing Out My Soul) in both Early Light and 10a worship.

 

This February, thanks to a generous donation by a church member, an intimate group of our CLUE high school students will be traveling to Taizé during the ski week break (no, we’re not going skiing!) to learn from and about this deeply rooted Christian community. Interest in this pilgrimage experience by our high school students was immediate, and the limited available spots for the trip filled up in the first week of sign-ups in the early Fall. We are blessed to have a committed group of students who want to deepen their claim and strengthen their own spiritual discipline in such a concrete way.

 

Brother Alos of Taizé says of the community that “it is a taste of celebration to see so many young people together in all their diversity. It 

gives us a great hope that it is possible for all humanity to live in peace.” We can’t

wait to bring that same celebration back to SVPC. May we learn from the young people in our midst, who have the capacity to teach us that celebrating our diversity in the quest toward peace and understanding really is something to be excited about.