Austria: Sr. HARP – CARP Workshop

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CARP Austria, Katharina Pranzl

From Friday, the 28th of October, until Sunday, the 30th of October, the Austrian CARP organized an autumn Sr. HARP-CARP Workshop in Gaflenz. With an age difference of over

15 years between the participants, several CARPies and some elder HARPies, altogether 26 participants, gathered for this workshop in order to take on the topic of “impressions and expressions of faith”. Even though the workshop only lasted a weekend, already on the first evening during the funny icebreaker games, it was possible to feel the warm atmosphere being created by the brothers and sisters.

The lectures of the workshop were divided into two topics, of which Elisabeth Cook shared about the first part, impressions of faith, and Bogdan Pammer, talked to us about the second topic, expressions of faith. After each lecture there was the possibility to meet in smaller groups to discuss and answer different questions in order to reflect about one’s own life of faith. Besides great singing sessions and fun sports activities, the participants also had the chance to listen to 3 testimonies, of people, who recently moved or will move to Austria. Another highlight of the workshop was the CARP Casino evening, at which the participants could try their luck playing different casino games.

Despite the shortness of the workshop, the participants had the chance to take a break from their work or university-life and reflect about their life of faith.

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Reflection

An intense 3-Days-Workshop to get away from the stressful university life and focus on the really important things in life was exactly what I needed. Because often, when you are too focused with other things, you forget about the really important things in life. That’s why, for me personally, the workshop was really helpful to deliberately take time for God and share with my brothers and sisters.

It was a pleasure to meet new brothers and sisters but also to see old BC friends again and to deepen our relationships. We are all at very different stages of our life right now but I think that’s how we could learn the most from each other.

Through sharing with other second gens but also the lectures gave me a lot to think about and to become more aware about my own life of faith. Elisabeth Cook’s lecture about the impressions of faith, in which she talked a lot about meditation and inner peace, was where I could learn the most. Because in moments of meditation I feel really close to God, but in everyday life I often forget how important it is to take some time just for God and myself. Although these are the moments where I am really happy and when I am able to feel Gods presence the most. Elisabeth Cook’s words particularly about our responsibility for our own faith made me think a lot about my own responsibility and duty as a second gen.

In my life, I was able to feel Gods presence a lot, that’s why it was often hard for me to argue with others about my faith. That’s why Bogdan Pammer’s lecture about the expressions of faith helped me a lot. I personally never thought too much about the proof of God and I avoided discussions about Gods existence, because for me it was obvious that God exists, it was a feeling I could not describe. However, in our society people are always striving for something and are looking for answers and it is hard to convince them without any proof. That’s why I think at a certain point of our lives it is more important to bring God’s heart closer to the people, than to just focus on our own lives of faith. For me personally there is no proof of God, but we can try to understand God’s heart and share this understanding with others. One big problem is that God is excluded in many aspects of our lives but if we are looking for God, we can feel him in every aspect.

The combination of the lectures and the opportunities to share with our brothers and sisters gave us the possibility to put the theory into practice and to think deeper about certain things, as well as to strengthen your faith. I am really grateful for the time we had together and to be able to share it with God.