Report on Brunch Fellowship (January 20, 2019)

Brunch Fellowship is a regular event that is held every third Sunday every month for cultural encounters among Danes, foreigners, immigrants and refugees around a common meal to build up friendship, tolerance, understanding and network of support regardless of differences in religion, race or culture.  Often we have a speaker that speaks about his/her own country of origin or about a  particular tradition or a current or historical event in that country. But on January 20 we held Brunch Fellowship that focused on UN’s World Interfaith Harmony Week as our first activity in our observance of this global event.

On this brunch fellowship on January 20, we invited 4 persons from four religions to share their daily religious praxis.  The following persons with corresponding religion they adhere to:

                 Amindeer Sigh: Sikhism 

                (Surinder Singh  from Sikhism

                  also  contributed to supplement Amindeer’s presentation)

                 Rekha:               Hinduism

                 Mohammed Abdulahi: Islam

                 Karen Oxlund:  Christianity

 

The program started with the meal from the food brought to the common table. Usually people come with food, wanting to let others taste their own food. Others who do not come with food, for whatever reasons, are also welcome to join. There was time for introductions by all and informal talks around tables. There was also  time for  singing international songs of fellowship in different languages.

After the meal, was the presentation of four persons from 4 religions who shared from their heart. We had  had in the past  dialogues between Christianity and Buddhism or Christianity and Islam and it was only on this day that we had for the first time the chance to hear a presentation from a  Sikh and a Hindu, sharing about their religion and their own  religious daily praxis.

There were questions from the audience and positive and lovely atmosphere as 4 persons presented uniqueness of their faith and their commitment to it.  We had Birgit Urd Andersen who translated them from English to Danish or from Danish to English.

 

There was time for coffee and tea after the presentations.  One person among the group, Finn Pedersen, came with Danish Layer Cakes to celebrate with the group his 60th round birthday. It was received with much joy and thanksgiving.

The 4 speakers received each of them a packed present as an expression of gratitude from the fellowship.

There were common points in the concluding round up of presentation and questions:

·      That all the four adherents in Sikhism, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism believe in a higher being, in one God or in a God revealing himself in different forms to bring about  meaning, protection, purpose for a  good and abundant life.

·      That there is a common belief in the importance and value of prayers.

·      That they involve themselves in programs or services that help to alleviate sufferings of others. That helping or loving others is a human, moral and religious duty.  

There was singing and fellowship circle while singing song of love.

Note: Brunch Fellowship on January 20 is also followed by Brunch Fellowship on February 17. Recalling that February 14 is celebrated worldwide as Valentine’s Day, the next brunch will focus on  love in different relationships, looking also at  certain traditions in courtship and marriage. Two brunch fellowships take place in Simon Peters Church as Islandsvej 12, 6000 Kolding in the months of January and February.  

Another  eating event in our calendar  is the Cross- Cultural Meal or what we locally call as Middag på tværs with different churches as a host on a  particular month. This is part of our program for building a network of Contact families with Refugees; also opening it to those who seek inspiration as they voluntarily help the integration of foreigners or refugees they have come to encounter.

This Cross-cultural Meal or Middag på tværs  is on a Friday, February 22   at 17.30 to 21.00, participated in by different churches within the Lutheran Church and those from other denominations. (see the program as enclosed)  This first Middag på tværs in 2019  will be held at the Parish Fellowship House of Tyrstrup Church in Christiansfeld on February 22. Christiansfeld is considered one of UNESCO Heritage Cites in Denmark. On this particular Cross-Cultural Meal, Elizabeth will give an introduction behind FN World Inter-Faith Hamony Week. There will be fellowship meal from the food, which participants bring to the International Buffet table. The priest of the Tyrstrup Church, Anne Mie Skak  Johansen, prepares quiz for all that will test participants’ knowledge  about  flags of different countries and another quiz on their knowledge about symbols of different religions.

Like in Brunch Fellowship, Middag på tværs is  to eat together from the food being contributed by participants who prepare food from their homes.  Brunch Fellowship and Middag på tværs or Cross-Cultural Meal are very simple acts of building bridges of goodwill among all peoples around tables of food, which do not need big budget to run. There is common sharing and common responsibility about those who participate. And it is something we continue to do…

 Supporting documents:

• Program for Brunch Fellowship (being distributed in town)

• Program for FN InterFaith Harmony Week (made available to all participants in different activities, also given out to newspapers and church website and on Facebook )

• The program of Middag på tværs or Cross-Cultural Meal for 2019

• See photos in power point presentation

 Report submitted: Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

                                Michael Markussen

                                Kolding International Congregation

                 Lilly Biswas, chairwoman of  Cross- Cultural Committee of Kolding Deanery 



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