For peace - in the Greek Orthodox Church in Neo Chorio, Cyprus / 28 July 2017

When we travel, we travel at every level - to countries, specific locations and cultures and within our own hearts and the hearts of others. On our retreat trip to Cyprus with David, we established contact with the local population again.

To express our respect, our love and our peace, and to share this with the people of Neo Chorio, we visited their city and their church. Through the support of our friend and hotel owner Gregoria and the priest working in Neo Chorio, we were able to have a mass for the residents and ourselves. We attended the Greek-Orthodox mass and let its impressive effects touch us. Afterwards we sang a peace mantra with everyone, which through its diversity of voices changed the church space into a sea of sound in which we were all deeply immersed. Touched, Hans-Jörg then led us into a peace meditation, and a peaceful silence spread through the church, which opened us all up and made us feel the peaceful unity: the unity of human beings - regardless of our confessions or individual beliefs. The deeper reality became perceptible, and this reaffirmed within us all: Peace is in us.

In gratitude and appreciation, we gave the priest our blessing scarf, embroidered with the words “freedom, peace, truth, love and unity.” This blessing – from heart to heart – will accompany, carry and support Father Theodoros and his congregation.

Everyone was deeply touched, especially by this encounter in the church. You could see this when we departed: People who did not know us, and who had only partially mastered our language or English, smiled at us, were touched and deeply connected with us through eye contact.

It is a moment that still gives me chills. I am grateful for the peace in us and in the world.

Mechthild Assmann

(This journey has been privately financed by the participants.)

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