Pamela and I arrived in Berlin at 9.30pm German time, which is an hour ahead of Britain, and made our way by taxi to our accommodation in apartments at the Lindenkirche. We were welcomed by Birgit, who had prepared our rooms with everything we could need for our stay, including a wonderful selection of German bread, cheese, cold meats and jams. Oranges and chocolates in a bowl on the table completed the generous welcome.
This morning we were received enthusiastically by the congregation at the Lindenkirche and brought them the greetings of MWiB and if our own churches. We had awaken to snow, which is apparently quite unusual here, so people were concerned that we should not be too cold this week. We explained that we have come prepared with layers of warm clothing!
After church Birgit invited us to share lunch with her and her son, a traditional meal of beef roulades, potato dumplings and red cabbage. It is so precious to share fellowship in a regular Sunday morning service and then to share conversation over a family meal table. Conference worship and hotel dining are all very well, but I far prefer local worship and home cooking. Today has been rich in both.
This afternoon Pamela and I will set off to negotiate public transport in search of the international Methodist congregation at Charlottenburg, where we will worship this evening, in English, I think! More instalments of the blog will follow as and when I get time to write and post them, and interim updates will appear on the Methodist Women in Britain Facebook page.
We ended this morning with my absolutely favourite blessing from Numbers 6: 24-26
Der Herr segne dich und behüte dich;
der Herr lasse sein Angesicht leuchten über dir und sei dir gnädig;
der Herr hebe sein Angesicht über dich und gebe dir Frieden.