‘Stuttgart Year of the Psalm 2014’

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A report by WFWP Stuttgart/Germany:

The Women’s Federation for Peace, Stuttgart held its monthly ‘Thursday meeting’ in the UPF premises under the title ‘Stuttgart Year of the Psalm 2014’. The Protestant and Catholic Church in Stuttgart had made an appeal that the wonderful variety of the psalms be experienced anew in the time from 1 December 2013 until 28 November 2014. July the 3rd was a beautiful summer’s day, and a group of 10 of us met, first of all to enjoy various refreshments -hot and cold drinks, fruit, and a selection of sweet and savoury baked goods. Gabriel Schickert opened the official program with a prayer, followed by a short introduction to the topic ‘Psalms’ from Ute Lemme. There are a total of 150 psalms, arranged in 5 books. They are prayers and songs that play a meaningful role in Jewish and Christian liturgy and that are often the theme of music and literature. They are ageless, and give expression to the whole spectrum of human emotion such as praise and gratitude, repentance, joy, consolation, hope and confidence… Ute Lemme chose 7 examples from the diversity of the psalms, which were displayed to us - from the internet -set to music and overwritten with text, and either spoken or sung: psalm 23 (The Lord’s my Shepherd), psalm 16, the psalm of praise 146 (short Hallelujah), psalms 8 (Revelation of God’s Glory to Mankind) and 139 (Mankind before an all-knowing God), psalm 24 (Entrance into the Temple) with verses from the advent song ‘Lift up your Heads’, and the pilgrimage psalm 121 (the Guardian of Israel). The musical presentation of the psalms with impressive pictures allowed us to experience deeply the prayers and songs. There was a spontaneous desire to repeat one or other of the psalms.As encore we heard and saw a Christian song, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ sung by Clara Micu to round things off. After this presentation of psalms, we again sat down together to discuss what we had heard. One guest felt that she had experienced God through these psalms. To finish our event, we heard and saw the song ‘God is Love’ from Anja Schraal. Grateful and happy, we took leave of each other. Ute Lemme, WFWP Stuttgart

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