Friends World Committee for Consultation - Europe & Middle East Section


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Epistle of Central European Gathering 2013

Epistle of the Central European Gathering 2013

To Friends everywhere:

This year as in 2011 we met in the beautiful town of Litomysl in Czech Republic in the heart of Europe for our 17th Central European Gathering of Friends. We are grateful that so many of us have made the journey from Belarus, Ukraine, Austria, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Ireland, England and the Czech Republic. The support of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust has had no small share in making this gathering possible. To many of us it has come to feel like our “yearly meeting”. We were especially pleased to have again three Friends join us from the Evangelical Friends Church in Tolna, Hungary.

We were enriched and challenged by Rex Ambler and Catherine King Ambler who took us on a journey to experiment with light. We also had a number of workshops and talks from those attending the gathering on their concerns and experiences including one on imagining the world without war.

As always in the past years music played an important part at our gathering with lots of singing and contra dancing. The presence of 7 children in our midst gave us great joy. We also enjoyed a playful movement workshop which helped lightening the heavy load that some of us experienced as (over)whelming as we explored deeply about truth in ourselves and in our relationship to the world. As one of us said: “Why does searching for the truth bring about such discomfort?”

One of the things we recognized was that despite our small size of around 40 people we represent many different countries, cultures and backgrounds and are always glad about the presence and support of Friends from the British Isles. We have learned together and from each other and are looking forward to next year.

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