Our Spiritual Culture

We are a community of Christians who have voluntarily chosen to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. Our life and work together is shaped by a spiritual culture characterized by the following components:

  • Prayer and contemplation: Each one of us has been created to live in an attitude of listening and response. God Himself is the Source of speech, the One who initiates communication. When we enter into dialog with Him and His Word, we experience reawakening and renewal. Therefore, we practice regular times of contemplation and prayer and allow our lives to be shaped by a corporate spiritual rhythm.
  • Thankfulness: We desire to live our lives as grateful recipients. “Thankfulness is the doorkeeper of the soul against the powers of destruction.” (Gabriel Marcel)
  • Freedom: As followers of Christ and children of God, our lives are rooted in freedom. It is out of this freedom that we consciously choose to live committed, concentrated lives of faith.
  • Living within the family of faith: We want to learn to interact with one another as brothers and sisters, to respect the unique “otherness” of our neighbor and to live out of a generous transparency which resists the temptation to withhold our true selves from one another.
  • The willingness to face conflict: We seek to constructively embrace and creatively respond to the inherent tension which exists between commitment and self-determination, equality and diversity. We believe that conflicts provide us with the opportunity to grow towards deeper reconciliation in our life together.
  • Sharing: Our life together is based upon the willingness to share. This calls for the conscious affirmation of a lifestyle which brings with it personal limitations.
    For us, sharing means letting others share in our lives, our time, our money, our experience and our faith, not only in the context of our immediate relationships, but also within the global family of faith.
  • Hospitality: By extending hospitality to others, we offer them a sense of home. These encounters are mutually enriching and they deserve the felt investment of our time and love. This includes the importance of creating and arranging living spaces in such a way that they radiate an environment of warmth and beauty.
  • Transparency: It is our desire to interact honestly with one another and live in accountability to one another. Our understanding of transparency also implies giving public account of our work, our organizational structures and our finances.
  • Maturity and responsibility: God views each one of us in the unique light of who He created us to be. We understand maturation as the growth process we all go through in being transformed into this unique image. Experience shows that the road to maturity involves crises and painful processes of change. Maturity prevents us from becoming entangled in unhealthy dependencies. We cannot delegate our own individual responsibility to others. Every authentic voice helps true community to grow.
  • The willingness to act: Healthy community flourishes as a result of the motivated service of every individual for the whole. We encourage individuals to act responsibly and independently.
  • A culture of celebration: Simply put, we are a community that loves to celebrate, whether it be in the context of the traditions of the Church Calendar or in the feasts of our everyday lives. We are convinced that celebration, beauty and joy go hand-in-hand. Community life within the Reichenberg Fellowship (OJC) involves plenty of hard work...and a generous portion of celebration!

Example of a culture of celebration

LITURGY for Celebrating The Sunday (Day of Resurrection)

Song 1: Du bist der Atem der Ewigkeit

Prayer before the lighting of the

All: In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

He was with God in the beginning.

All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing made had

In him was life,
and the life was the light of mankind.

The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not suppressed
(John 1:1-5, Complete Jewish Bible)

One (woman): Lord God, heavenly
father. For the honor of your Son, who
is the Light of the world and the origin
of life, I will kindle this light for the
Lord's day.

On this day you raised Jesus Christ,
your Son, from the dead beginning
the new creation.

May your peace and your blessing fill
our celebration of His resurrection. Be
with us and let your Holy Spirit move
among us. Father of mercy, let us
abide in your love. Help us to serve
your Son faithfully, to hear His word
and to act accordingly.

Grant us love and sustain in us the
hope for your present and future

Keep away from us fear and anxiety,
unrest and darkness. Grant us as
members of your household peace,
light and joy.

All: For with you is the fountain of
life; in your light we see light.

The candle is being lit. From
each table one woman (or child)
picks up the light.

During this we sing Song 2:
Mache dich auf und werde licht

One: Blessed and praised are you,
o Lord, our God. On the very first day
you created the light, and you raised
your Son, the Light of the world
beginning the new creation. Blessed
and praised are you, o Lord, our God,
king of the world. You give us joy to
kindle the light on the Lord's day.

All: Amen.

Song 3: Du Licht vom Lichte

Blessing of the children.
Thanks and praise to the wife.

One: Dear sisters (and brothers,
and friends and guests), this is the
Lord's day.

All: We joyfully welcome it.

Song 4: Dies ist der Tag, den
der Herr gemacht

One: Today, we lay aside all cares
of last week to honor the Lord Jesus
Christ and to celebrate His
resurrection. Today, we rest from our
work to praise God and to share in the
life, to which He has called us.

Whatever is yet unfinished, shall not
bother us now:
- all worries shall be stripped from
their power
- all fear of things past and all
anxiety about things to come are
bound in Christ
- all busyness within us and around
us is set aside
- all appointments and all planning
is submitted to him who holds time
in His hands
- all people for whom we carry
responsibility we surrender to
God, because He cares for us and
for all of His creatures
- all political events of this night and
the coming day we put into God's

Time of quiet

All: The Lord is with us to share His
glory with us. He refreshes our heart
and mind. He strengthens our body
and our soul.

One: Therefore we respect and
honor God. We practice loving for the
sake of Christ.

All: May the Holy Spirit be with us,
he deepens our devotion to Jesus. He
strengthens our will for the path,
which he shows us.

We share God's peace with one

Song 5: Gottes Friede sei mit dir

Table Blessing

While the cup is being filled and
raised, the words of praise are

One: We praise God with this sign
of joy and give thanks to Him for the
blessings we experienced last week:
- for health, strength and wisdom,
- for everything that went well,
- for our home (church, family,
friends, home group)
- for love and friendship, also for
sustaining our faith and trust in
times of challenge and testing,
- for our work and the joy that we
could experience this week.

All: From His fullness, we have all
received kindness and comfort and

One: Blessed and praised are you,
Lord, our God, ruler of the world, who
creates the fruit of the vine. You fill us
with joy, so that we might share it with

All: Amen.

We drink the wine and share
with each other what we are
grateful for in this past week.

Song 10: Daß du mich einstimmen
läßt in deinen Jubel

Sanctifying the Sunday

One: Blessed and praised are you,
Lord, our God, for this day, which reminds
us of our salvation through
your Son.

We welcome this Sunday with joy and
dedicate it to the celebration of His resurrection
and the new creation,
which has begun in Him.

Lord, our God, you have given us rest
and purpose in Jesus Christ.

All: Now, we live with Him through
your good Holy Spirit and look
forward to the day when we will live
with Him in your eternal kingdom.

One: Blessed and praised are you,
Lord, our God, king of the world, who
delights us with the gift of the Sunday.

All: Amen.

Song 14: Höre Israel

The plate with the bread is
being lifted and the blessing
spoken or sung:

One: The eyes of all wait for you,
Lord, and you give them their food in
due season.

All: You open your hand, satisfying
the desire of every living thing.

One: Blessed and praised are you,
Lord, our God, ruler of the world, who
brings forth bread from the earth. We
eat the bread of affliction. You feed us
with the bread of life.

All: Amen.

We break the bread and give a
piece to our neighbor.

Song 11: Wir pflügen
und wir streuen