Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Monthly Taize service held at Minnehaha United Methodist Church

Posted on 25 February 2019 by calvin

The Taize service is an intimate, candle-lit gathering: a time for quiet reflection and prayer. Music, song, and words intermingle, building to a crescendo—called the Great Silence—that lasts for ten minutes or more.

Minnehaha United Methodist Church (MUMC), 3701 E. 50th St., offers an ecumenical Taize service on the second Friday of each month at 7pm (October through May).

Church members Diane Enge and Charlene Johnson have been coordinating the Taize Service at MUMC for 15 years. It’s based on a model dating back to WW II that has grown steadily over time. Enge and Johnson invite different musicians to participate each month.

Photo right: The Taize cross was made by parishioners Larry Harvey and Robert Wagner. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

On a frigid, snowy night in February, the service was guided by meditative silence, the sounds of piano, cello, and the voices of cantors Sarah Hruska Olson and Julie Cook. When readings were shared, they were delivered from the back of the church, not the pulpit. Only a few people were in attendance because of the weather, but as Enge was quick to point out, “It’s not the numbers that count.”

The original Taize Community, which has spawned a worldwide movement, is located about 250 miles southeast of Paris in the province of Burgundy. Their gatherings emphasize the need for all Christians to come together in peace, love, and reconciliation.

The Taize community especially welcomes young people, and their website can be read in 35 different languages.

Photo left: Diane Enge (left) and Charlene Johnson (right) have been organizing the monthly Taize Service at MUMC for 15 years. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

The history of the community and their meditative style of worship go back a long way. In 1940, a Swiss monk named Roger Schutz purchased a small house in southern France. He left his native, politically neutral Switzerland and moved to France—where he thought he could do more to alleviate the suffering of the war. Brother Roger’s home quickly became a sanctuary for war refugees both Jewish and Christian, and eventually an ecumenical, monastic order. He served as its prior until his death in 2005. His intuitive response to a world at war was to create a community where kindness of heart and simplicity were at the center of everything.

Schutz believed that human beings implicitly thirst for one thing: a rich inner life. He wrote in the book, “Songs and Prayers from Taize,” that nothing is more conducive to communion with the living God than simple, common prayer. When the mystery of God is not smothered by too many words, then common prayer awakens worshipers to heaven’s joy on earth. To celebrate in this way, only a few people are needed.

The next Taize Service at Minnehaha United Methodist Church is scheduled for Fri., Mar. 8th at 7pm. Call the church office at 721.6231 with any questions. All are welcome to participate in this non-denominational service.