Another Heritage Trip

February 12, 2007

Here we go again! And we’d love you to come too! My wife Romkje and I will be hosting another ‘Share the Heritage’ Trip this summer, June 30 through to July 14. We’ll travel by bus from Amsterdam to Geneva, via numerous historic sites including Wittenberg, Herrnhut, Prague, Dachau and Zurich.

These two weeks will be part of a month-long SUMMER SCHOOL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES being run for the first time this year. The SSES will be made up of three modules, focussing on the past, the present and the future of Europe. Each module can be taken separately.

past
Short memories breed short-sightedness. Christians and non-Christians alike suffer from short-memories. The debate about the EU Constitution is flaring up again. German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to see the Judeao-Christian roots of European society acknowledged in the constitution. Secularists are dead against this. Why is this such an issue? Because our understanding of the past shapes our view of the future. What is at stake is the vision of Europe’s future.

When we are robbed of our past, we are robbed of our future too. Each generation has the responsibility to ‘pass the torch’ to the next generation. We all share that responsibility-not just politicians and academics

The God-in-the-Constitution argument prompted us two years ago to host the first Share the Heritage tour-through Holland, Germany, the Czech republic and Switzerland-to learn about the rich Christian legacy in government, language, literature, economics, music, art, science, family and society. We wanted to encourage others to discover and then share the significance and the riches of this inheritance.

As we did two years ago, this year we will start again from Amsterdam, visiting locations in Holland, learning about Willibrord, Boniface, Thomas a Kempis, Erasmus, Menno Simons, Comenius, the Pilgrim Fathers, Abraham Kuyper, and others. Then we’ll drive across Germany to Wittenberg and Herrnhut, discovering more about Luther, Bach, Comenius (again) and Zinzendorf; from there into the Czech Republic, stopping in Prague and Plzen, in the footsteps of Jan Hus and, yet again, Comenius, before finally ending up in Calvin’s Geneva via Zwingli’s Zurich. And these are only half the stopovers!

Our first trip turned out to be such a total educational experience for our party of twenty-two! Ol√©-Christian, a Norwegian journalist, described it as a ‘trip of a lifetime’.
Swedes, Koreans and Americans joined others from Germany, Holland and South Africa on the bus. Informal discussions and an onboard library of books, magazines and articles encouraged our learning process to continue en route.

On registration, participants will receive a cd-rom with four hours of teaching on the spread of Christianity and its influence in Europe. Each day on the trip, we will brief the group on the day’s sights and lessons, before travelling to the location itself. Often a local guide or a video will instruct us further in the historical background and contributions of the particular person, movement or place in question. Each day closes with debriefing and reflection on what we have seen and learnt.

We will stay primarily in YWAM centres-not as spartan as you may think! These include two castles, Schloss Hurlach and the Wasserschloss, (in Hurlach and Herrnhut respectively)! And the most beautiful Jugendstijl conference facility, Le Rüdli, in Einigen, Switzerland, overlooking the Thunnersee and the Bernese Alps.

present & future
Einigen will be the location for the last two weeks of the SSES, studying the present European situation (July 16-20) and then exploring Europe’s future (July 23-27).

These two study weeks will combine lectures, seminars, videos and films along with prayer, intercession and worship in one of the most inspiring environments I know!

To understand Europe’s present, we will address three major challenges to the Christian heritage: · secularism · Islam · new spirituality. We will also identify the growing signs of hope for a more biblical future.

In the last week of the SSES we will attempt to develop a vision of Europe’s future viewed through the paradigm of Relationism, as developed by Dr Michael Schluter. Relational markets, democracies, communities and companies, based on a biblical vision of ‘shalom’, can be a realistic future for Europe.

And now the bottom line! The Heritage Tour costs €975, including food, housing, transport, study materials and museum entry. The two study weeks at Einigen are €200 each. (For YWAM scholarship prices, contact Jelly). A website with more information, including travel schedule, registration form and photos, will be operational shortly at www.ywam.eu/sses.

See you on board?

Till next week,
Jeff Fountain

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Till next week,


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