girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


days 20-22 were spent with my friends from the kubic community in karlsuhe, germany.
i am so thankful to johannes for opening up his flat to me and getting me connected and involved with all the neat things going on in karlsuhe.
i met most of the kubic fellows two years ago whenever this 'training trail' that i'm on first began being formed.
i'm pretty sure the first time we met they hated me because i always told them to smile,
 they never smiled...because their german. 
(just kidding)
but now we're great friends and i got to make some new friends as well.
as an update, for those of you who met the germans, 
dennis and his fiance mirjam will be married in two weeks!
in addition to them i got to see daniel, his wife and his two little kiddos.
i didn't get to see bjorn or mark r. but heard they are doing well.
so, on friday i arrived and johannes took me to meet yet some more kubic guys (i was beginning to think they only had men in their community-ha!)
we got into some great conversations...
kubic is different than any of the communities i've gotten a chance to visit-
there are aspects of their church that i have only heard about in fairy tales...
they really do use the gifts:
some speak in tongues (johannes was brought up in a charismatic pentecostal church),
for a time they actually had a part of their service dedicated to prophecy (which seemed kind of like a time for encouragement but goes a step further), and now they are making the move to be a pastorless/leaderless church,
but if you asked mark reichman, he would probably say they've always been leaderless.
i asked johannes what 'kubic' meant and he said it's just like our cubic measurements, only not of a room, but the height, depth, and width of God.
i dig that.
they also own a coffee shop/cafe/live entertainment venue called 'nun' which i was told is a poetic form of the word 'now'.
right now is the traveling season for europe and the coffee shop/cafe is having trouble staying open, and so kubic has formed a team of members to decide what the fate of the cafe will be.
they have options-wait out the travel season (there is a place right around the corner that is being built for college kids and would be a perfect audience for nun), or they could sell.
sell to someone that has no affiliation to kubic or perhaps get someone invested in kubic to buy.
they have hard decisions ahead. this seems to be a really interesting time for them, and i can only imagine that it is taking all of their energy to remain engaged.
so friday i met marcus, martin, and grotz for a drink (i tried german beer!), then we took a walk around the city and i actually got a lesson on photography from martin (he is a great photographer).
the next day johannes and i had a great brunch at a very neat little cafe-it reminded me a lot of 'empire cafe' in houston if you know the place.
then we hung out, read magazines and books, and then headed to kamuna!
before we headed to kamuna i tried what johannes considers the most prevalent food for germany at the moment-turkish kebab.
now, when my family made kebab each person got their own metal prong that they stacked their choosing of meats and vegetables on and then it was grilled.
real turkish kebab is that, but is shreds of meat from a huge piece of meat on a spick that is then put into a huge tortilla with veggies or whatever you like. (it's like fogo de chow meets chipotle, again, for those of you from houston)
kamuna is a night in karlsuhe where all the local museums stay open until around 1am for people to come and visit. 
we got to see some special art installations and there were tons of people!
we visited two out of the many museums-
one had a 'design+emotion' installation which was great fun,
and then another that is fully art+interaction based.
by the end of the night i was not only physically exhausted from the walking and talking,
but emotionally exhausted from the sensory overload.
on sunday we went to nun for brunch and hung out with some of the kubic gang and then later that night met them for their 'service' as they call it.
their service was in german but johannes was nice enough to paraphrase and translate for me.
each sunday they follow the local lutheran church in their outline-the psalm and the reading for the day. then the group discusses. 
from what i understood, these people are really intelligent and thoughtful people.
i'm sure some, just like in most churches, just want to be 'fed' their spirituality, but most of these people really jumped in their and seemed to have great thoughts.
they also spent time in small groups finding out about each other's weeks ahead and how they could really help-not just pray, but really be involved and accessible to the others in the group.
then we went out for drinks with some of the guys again in one of the local 'beer gardens'.
it was delightful.
there are lots of things i think i've learned from this group...
they really are open to conversations from people on the outside.
they are not your stereotypical german group-they don't do everything for the sake of efficiency.
they really want to experience God and not just talk about Him/Her (and that includes getting in on the gifts of the spirit-even if that does freak me out since i've never really seen it...and no, unfortunately there was no prophecy or speaking in tongues while i was there)
they all really want what is best for the group-with the cafe and for the future of their church.
they all seem to want to really be a part of kubic and not rely upon leaderish people like mark to do the work for them, but know that is a really hard process and has its ups and downs along the way.
yeah, i like them.
as johannes said, the one thing that can be understood in spite of language is emotion.
i saw that in the museum of 'design+emotions' when old ladies were shocked at the display of poop or the gnome that was hanging by a noose from the ceiling, then later in the intense conversations around what to do with the cafe-i didn't need to know the exact words, i just knew people were passionate,
and then during the 'service' when daniel's little daughter started laughing because the group was laughing-she didn't know why we were laughing, she just laughed too (it reminded me of little karis at wellspring...and made me miss my own families back home).
all these times, i realized that you don't need to know a language to understand that people feel.
that is beautiful to me.
i'm sure i will think of many more insights that i have gained from this great group of people,
but this is good for now.
today i am in prague after a long 8 hour train ride.
and that story will have to wait until tomorrow.
but i do hope that all my friends in houston are doing well...
it looks like there's another hurricane headed that way and right now it is 3am and i'm sure most of you are fast asleep.
my thoughts are with all of safe.


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