Anamcara - God Moves In Copenhagen

AnamCara.no (CA&H in Norway) has spread to Denmark. A strong group meets in Juttland, and a few meet in Copenhagen who have yet to find a soul friend or draw up a Personal Way of Life. The contact persons for AnamCara.dk are Lars Neve and Mogens Maagaard mogens.maagaard@gmail.com.

They are part of a wave of Danish Christians who believe that their faith must mean more than mere weekly attendance at a church service. Last year a network of such Christians were invited to Copenhagen to hear Shane Claiborne, the USA 'new friar of The Simple Way' who wrote 'The Irresistible Revolution', and last week I was invited to lead a week-end. The joint hosts of these events are Areopagus and Holy Spirit Church - a stunning, historic student church in the city centre.

Areopagus began in Norway in order to dialogue with and evangelise people in China. Recently, in Norway and now Denmark, it also engages with Chinese and other ethnic groups who have settled in Scandinavia. It is inspired by the apostle Paul's engagement with people of other religions in the marketplace (areopagus), and therefore also seeks to inform and inspire Christians to engage in the marketplace. Holy Spirit Church is right in the marketplace. It is one of several Copenhagen churches who have Night Services. These are typically candlelit, guitarists lead chants and songs, and they include Taize and Celtic style prayers.

On Friday evening I spoke at a public meeting on 'What is Celtic Christianity and how is it Relevant to Everyday Life?' This was followed by the 10.0 pm Night Service in the church below. Members of about six networks spent Saturday exploring 'Formation of Christian Communities - types, bases, pitfalls, blessings and next steps.' A three hours inter-active session was followed by lunch. In the afternoon four groups met, and re-gathered to report and consider my reflections. Anamcara was the largest group. There were also people from a Retreat Centre, a Korsvei household community, Peter Haldorf's Swedish Community which has dispersed associates who follow a Rule, and a prison chaplain who is exploring with the state church ways in which redundant rural vicarages can be lived in by a small community who offer social and spiritual resources to the area. About sixteen people stayed on to consider next steps. It was discerned that each group should direct its energy towards its own forward journey. One person offered to email news to the whole network. Some Anamcara members hoped they might arrange training in soulfriendship. Leif, of Denmark's Boedal publishers, who translated Everyday Prayer Rhythms and Exploring Celtic Spirituality, staffed a bookstall. During the week-end Denmark's daily Christian newspaper, Kristeligt Dagblad, interviewed me on Celtic Christianity, and a brilliant photographer took pictures the like of which you may not before have seen. The interview and some photos remain on its web site www.kristendom_dk .

My host on Sunday, Elisabeth, took me to the International Christian Community, a church with fifty nationalities. For forty minutes we enjoyed their annual costume competition. Their senior pastor, Ravi Chandran, explained that 'we can have fun in church'. Without warning I was asked to say something about Celtic Christianity. I heard myself saying 'Celtic Christianity is the opposite of miserable Christianity' Ravi told us that he aims to be 'naturally spiritual and spiritually natural'. After lunch Elisabeth took me to Europe's largest commune, at Kristiania. It started with hippies taking over a dis-used military barracks at the time of Woodstock. It has survived forty years, although it is now under threat. A group of Christians there has a pow wow on Sundays and I shared about Aidan and Voyagers today. 'So Aidan didn't f... everything up like the other Christians? said one, 'are you in a line from him - celibate monks - or is this something new?' 'It's something new that anyone can live, we just got inspired by Aidan and his monks' I explained. 'Most of us do use electricity but we live simply and last week I planted a plum tree and a blueberry bush'.. They gave us porridge, glasses of water and friendship.

Posted at 02:53am on 7th March 2011
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