During evening prayer, Brother Alois began by reminding everyone about the international meetings that will take place in Taizé throughout 2017. Then he spoke of plans for meetings and prayers in various places, in particular the next European Meeting of Young Adults which will take place in Basel at the end of December 2017.
Basel: an ecumenical and cross-border invitation
A few weeks ago, Brother Alois received a lettere from the leaders of the local Churches in the region around Basel - from Switzerland, France and Germany. This is what they wrote:
"The Basel region and the Taizé Community have had a close relationship for a long time. The Churches and Christian communities of the Basel region identify with the goal of Taizé to accompany and support young people in their personal journey of faith.Convinced that this will be a sign of the capacity that faith has to bring together, to surpass and to reconcile, the Churches and Christian communities of the region of Basel wholeheartedly invite the brothers of the Taizé Community to organise and lead the 40th European Meeting of Young Adults in the Basel region from 28 December 2017 to 1 January 2018.Throughout the centuries, Basel was an important place for the evolution of Christianity in Europe. The Reformation, the 500th anniversary of which will be celebrated next year, was a landmark event in this respect. In the Basel region, this event was linked strongly with the humanist tradition. An openness to the world, tolerance and a concern for peace, characteristic of this region come from that link. From a geographic point of view, the region stretches across three countries and is thus marked by the capacity to cross borders.The Churches and Christian communities of the Basel region are convinced that the different ways of understanding and following Christ are no obstacle to the common path of Christian women and men. And far more, "we, who are many, are one body in Christ" and the "gifts given" to each person contribute to a mutual enrichment and strengthening of communion. (Rm 12: 5-6).The Churches and Christian communities of the Basel region, together with all, in their great diversity, who are close to them, feel driven by the traditional openness of their region to the world and rejoice to open their churches, homes and hearts to their future guests and welcome a stage of the Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth."
Several Church leaders from Basel present in Riga
During a press conference organised to coincide with this announcement, several local Church leaders present in Riga spoke, amongst them Lukas Kundert, President of the Reformed Church of the Canton of Basel. Here is part of what he said;.
"We see the European Meeting of Young Adults as a chance to reflect together on the role of Christianity and the Churches of our region. In this sense, the fact that the Reformation Year can end with an ecumenical meeting, which puts the accent on what unites rather than what divides us, is a sign that really speaks.
Then Stefan Kemmler, Dean of the Catholic Church in Basel, added:
"The Churches and religious communities of the Basel region rejoice over the coming meetings with youth from all over Europe. We rejoice to be able to share with Christians of different backgrounds and we rejoice to be able to experience in our homes the cross-border solidarity of this meeting.