I visited an old class mate, Jeannette, from grade school years and her husband Henk, about 50 miles from Amsterdam. On the way there, I stopped in Hilversum to attend an Ecumenical service in the Emmaus Church. The parish Priest W. Vlooswijk and reverend J.D.F. van Halsema of the Protestant Bethlehem church co-celebrated the service. Every seat was filled. It was a very inspirational and an encouraging experience for me, having grown up in the Protestant church and at age 22 joining the Roman Catholic church. Reverend Vlooswijk gave a wonderful homily on the theme of today’s Bible readings “the Way of Love”. A Gospel Choir “Dabar ‘Yah” www.dabaryah.nl livened up the service with an all English repertoire of gospel songs and hymns, including a jazzed up version of “Joyful, Joyful we adore Thee” from Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”.
Wished my mother could have been there. Today’s service is all about one of the passages in, my work in process, “The Mastmakers Daughters” when she tells about the service they held in the Dachau concentration camp on Easter Sunday, April 1st. 1945, the Protestants and the Roman Catholics using her New Testament, that she had been able to hide from the guards for over a year, and singing together “A Mighty Fortress is our God” (“Één vaste burcht is onze God”).
There was no communion but I managed to finally partake last Sunday in the R.C. Church in Sloten where the 83 years young father Bankras is still going strong.
I am practicing my rain dance, hope it works otherwise I may have to sneak out of Holland on Wednesday on a false passport, it was an other gorgeous sunny bright crisp fall day.