A Bavarian Connection

By Pastor Del Riemer

How do we make significant connections with people? How do we get to know people outside the walls of our church for mutual enrichment? How did Jesus get to know those who did not follow Him around? Well, we read that he went to where people were, took opportunities to contact and connect in places like: a well, a dinner party with ‘riff raff’, at night in a dark alley, at a wedding, by a pool, while walking past a sycamore tree.

On August 15-16th , a group of 30 people aged from 3-90 yrs of age signed up, travelled in their own vehicles and gathered in the small Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, Washington. This group was from 5 different churches and most had not ever met the others in the group. After settling into the hotel, we convened for supper at King Ludwigs Bavarian Restaurant and enjoyed a truly German meal featuring: spätzle, red cabbage, pork hock, schnitzel, baked chicken, bratwurst and warm German Potato salad, all the while being serenaded by Frank (decked out in his Lederhosen) on the accordion.

Tables of our people sat, sang and swayed to the German music, enjoyed a good meal, got to know one another, laughed and made connections that will last forever.

Finally, we headed to the Leavenworth Ski Hill Amphitheatre which is nestled in the forest with panoramic mountain vista’s right in front of us. The ingeniously built stage shifted scenes with rotating sets and we enjoyed a live performance of The Sound Of Music (accompanied by a live orchestra). What an enchanting venue to share an experience with others that will endure in our memories for years to come.

So how did this come about? An idea spawned, a few calls made to get the word out, reservations secured, and a commitment from a diverse group with a common appreciation for drama, music and a touch of adventure. How many rich experiences and connections could we enjoy if we only took the initiative to engage an idea and invite the participation of others?

Life, faith and unity (as God intends) are truly experienced in the context of relationship, family and shared experiences. Our church families are one way to experience this, but what richness there is in embracing those from outside our walls.

In the context of each of our lives, let’s love others, as He has loved us, and make the most of every opportunity!

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