WOODBURY – Evening Taize/vespers will be held this Sunday, June 26, and on the last Sundays of July, August and September, at the Woodbury Methodist Church building, beginning at 7 p.m.
The services will be modeled after those from the Taize community in France, characterized by times of silence interspersed with quiet prayers, songs from Taize, and readings from the Bible. The services are open to the entire community.
The Rev. Steve Winkler, a retired United Church of Christ pastor living in Woodbury, will host the gatherings. The Rev. Winkler’s interest in offering this opportunity grew from his experiences at Taize when leading a confirmation group on a pilgrimage to the community. This group was among the thousands who travel to Taize to spend time immersed in prayer and study.
The Taize community sprang from the commitment of Roger Schutz, who, during the early days of WWII, sought to explore what it really meant to live the Christian life according to the Scriptures.
His search led him from his Swiss homeland to the small village in southwestern France, only miles south of the demarcation line that separated free France from the zone occupied by the invading German army. His home became a sanctuary to countless war refugees seeking shelter.
At the war’s end, people from around the world began to journey to the community that grew from the seeds planted by Brother Roger. Today, Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christians, by the hundreds and thousands, come to share the simple communal life built around the three daily services of prayer and contemplation. Many have become familiar with the music sung at these services; songs sung in many languages, often drawn from simple phrases from Scripture.
Pastor Bill Richardson and the members of the Calais Woodbury United Church have offered the use of the Woodbury Methodist Church for the monthly gatherings.
For more information, Steve Winkler, firstname.lastname@example.org.