Fellowship Concern Group (Valerie Marinoni on behalf of the Fellowship team, Dorine van Teeseling, Maryssa Mapanao-Camaddo & Co.)
A certain number of events regularly punctuate the Fellowship group’s year. The Fête de la Musique in June is certainly a BIG one, involving quite a lot of work and plenty of fun – for the Neighbourhood Groups too, filling and holding the food stalls. An opportunity to work with the German congregation.
Walking Together evenings bring newcomers and not-so-new members of the church for a simple Sunday evening meal followed by discussions round a book in Advent and Lent. The Fellowship group organises the meals, gratefully accepting pots of soup from other cooks!
Something relatively new has been preparing and serving a reception following a funeral in our church. An occasion to support the family and also to show a warm welcome to people who are not necessarily church- goers – seems we are flowing over into Outreach!
Several of our Neighbourhood Groups met around a pot-luck meal during
Lent and Advent, to share the theme proposed with the help of Terry’s liturgy and prayers for those occasions. And we need to build on our NHGs more in the future.
Organising the Easter Vigil feast is always a busy time – everyone bringing food to share after worship – and getting the place back to normal afterwards!
The monthly Soup Kitchen is an occasion to serve our neighbour and encounter the social realities in our very own town of Geneva, a possibility too for volunteers of all ages to get to know each other better and work joyfully preparing the meal. Numbers vary between 180 to around 250 in summer, when other places serving food close down. This year (2018) again the Indonesian Fellowship took over in April and another group in May.
Our annual retreat was replaced by a day visit to the Chartreuse area in France, learning about the Carthusian order and admiring Arcabas’ magnificent paintings in St- Hugues church nearby. This year will be another day trip, more child-friendly (!) since we will all be up at the Signal de Bougy on a Saturday in September. For 2019, however, we have managed to secure Monterêt for a 2-day retreat again.
Harvest Sunday was, as usual, a busy November day – auctioning off all your gifts for our projects. Success and fun combined. In less than no time, we raised nearly CHF 10’000 to help fund a project in Ethiopia caring for orphans, and a relief project after the catastrophic earthquake in Mexico.
Helping out with providing and selling soup and mulled wine at the Escalade Race in the Old Town in December has become a tradition, another joint effort with the German-speaking congregation to raise funds for the church building.
One exceptional event we were involved in last year was the Sunday festivities marking 500 years of the Reformation with Lutherans from all over Switzerland. In September, over 400 people packed into the Madeleine church for the worship service, and joined for a convivial picnic lunch of home-prepared sandwiches.