Friday, 14 August 2009
First full day
Yesterday was my 1st full day here in Berlin. What did I do? Well: familiarise myself with the Team Hotel that I'm staying in, have breakfast with some other chaplains; prepare my devotion time for the Oasis of Silence; and take one of the official shuttle buses across Berlin to the other Team Hotel, where I was on duty in the Oasis of Silence from 12-2pm. No athletes came, only one other chaplain from India that I'd not yet met, so we talked to introduce ourselves and prayed a bit. Then: over lunch, met another chaplain for the 1st time, from Switzerland; familiarisation time with this second hotel; catch trains to the Berliner Dom (Cathedral) to attend the special ecumenical service for the opening of the championships. It was a good service, mostly but not solely in German, although there were written English translations available of the introductory talk & sermon. I was pleasantly surprised as to how much German I could understand though, so that was also good. The sermon was insightful, much of it about the role of sport and things we can learn from it. It was also poignant in that it drew on the fact that it was 48 years ago to the day that the Berlin Wall was erected, and here we were celebrating the freedom of encounter of different cultures that a World Championship can bring...... The rest of the evening was spent travelling back to my hotel and eating supper with several other chaplains.