Sunday, 12 July 2009

The magic of meeting

Greetings from Northern Finland light nights and bugful marshlands. I’m preparing for acting in the assembly as a young delegate sent by the Evangelic-Lutheran Church of Finland. Early tomorrow morning I will start my journey across Europe (mostly by train) to get to Lyon on Wednesday. I’m expecting to see work of the Holy Spirit, common hope in Christ and a colourful sample of God’s creation, which we all are beatiful parts of.

When I was an anxious teenager – not so long ago – I used to think that assemblies with much talk and not much action are useless. Moreover, I would see them harmful, as dozens of people fly to the venue, each producing more greenhouse gases than their parents or grandparents in a lifetime. I couldn’t believe such gatherings might change anything or anyone, at least not the way I thought was necessary for getting our lifestyle on sustainable tracks.

I have had a gradual change of heart on that. We need more human encounters of all types, from casual chats with our neighbours to worldwide assemblies of political leaders. The worst-case scenario is not a world of many useless meetings but a world of no meeting. I don’t think we could get anything done without sharing our views with each other and encouraging each other to thrive for common goals. The key point for me is that where two or three come together, there is always something more present, something that can transform our lives.

What we need is openness and eagerness to take our talk into action. Even when it seems impossible and hopeless from an individual perspective.


  1. Wonderful post Hermanni I have taken three quotes from this and posted them onto the CECassembly twitter feed - we need to put that onto the blog but you can reach it here:

  2. Also meant to say congratulations for travelling by train - I travelled from Geneva to Sibiu by train and thought it was wonderful. I love long train journeys and hope you have an enjoyable time from Finland to Lyon. Travel safely!

  3. I think, we can do something there. Even if there weren't any concrete results - people take inspiration home to there churches and move the "oikoumene" more forward.
    Hopefully, the Moscow Patriarchate will take part, despite the assumption that they won't come. That would be really your worst-case scenario: no meeting. Let's pray for the presence of all member churches.

  4. Dear Tobi! I can not find any information on the official web-pages of Moscow Patriarchate about participation of its delegation in the Assembly, and even no mentioning of the Assembly at the official web-pages. Can you tell me, who is present and what are their status?

  5. Dear Burbalka,
    sorry for answering that late. Moscow was absent at all. The Lutherans were the only representatives of Russia.