Taizé in the Far West: 18 to 35 year olds apply now

Taize on Red Shirt

On May 24th through 27th, 2013, 18-35 year olds from across the country will gather in Red Shirt, South Dakota, a tiny village at the edge of the Badlands on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for a landmark event. Taizé in the Far West will include meditative prayer, Bible study, workshops, small group sharing, and meals together – all provided by the hospitality of the local Lakota people with cooperation and participation of the Taizé community in France.

Why is such a gathering important?

People often have a romantic image of Native American people drawn from films and novels. However, in recent times the media has increasing shown another face of life on Pine Ridge and other reservations. The story told now is often one of unremitting poverty, violence, and despair.

The young people there have another story to tell, one that avoids both extremes of idealization and hopelessness. In welcoming young adults from other parts of North America, they want to share their joy as well as their pain, highlighting both the priceless gifts of an age-old way of life and the great difficulties in continuing this way of life and adapting it to contemporary society.

“When we travel to visit other peoples and cultures,” said Brother Alois of the Taizé community, “we go above all to listen. In going to Pine Ridge we want to listen carefully to the story of the Lakota people, and listen together to what the Spirit is saying to us all in our attempt to create a world of solidarity and peace. Only by coming together beyond our differences in a climate of prayer and sharing can we find new ways forward.”

If you will be 18 by the date of the event, please consider participating. Practical information, including registration and lodging details, is available on the website.

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