Monday, August 22, 2005


For the last two Sundays in August, Zolder50 has organized some special activities to feature the church’s home groups. We believe that these small spiritual "families" of anywhere from 5 to 25 individuals are the primary foundation for our neighborhood church. Therefore, these two weeks were designed to create opportunities for more people to experience our home groups -- and understand how true community can be lived out, with people growing spiritually, growing relationally, and uniting to serve others.

So yesterday evening, after the entire church had been assembled and welcomed, Zolder50 clustered into its five existing home groups, and people who had never been previously involved in a home group were given a few criteria to help choose one to join for the evening. We paused momentarily for introductions, to make sure everyone in the group knew one another. Then each home group was given a mission: een speurtocht (a scavenger hunt).

Armed with just a few simple tools (a digital camera, a gluestick, and some papers defining the rules for the adventure and providing instructions for how to find our next clue) we set out, together as a group: one American, one Belgian, one South African, and three Nederlanders (and we eventually had the good fortune to join up with a Moroccan along the way). We didn't always feel 100 percent certain of the direction we were heading, but usually there was at least one of us in the group -- and not always the same individual -- who knew just enough to get us to our next clue (for example, if it weren't for Marco, I don't know how we would have found the tiny statuette of the man with the saw in the trees along the Singelgracht). We had to work together as a team (counting the number of iguanas on the Leidseplein), and we needed reinforcements along the way (I don't think we could've successfully photographed a three-level pyramid if we hadn't found Mourad somewhere around the Derde Helmerstraat). We had to work through misunderstandings (trying to understand Daniel's charades in front of the Burger King). We even washed each others' feet at one point (literally -- in the fountain on the Max Euweplein!). It was just following one orange marker after another, continuing in faith with just enough information to make it to the next clue. And along the way, we laughed and learned together.

In the end, I'm proud to say that our home group won. Through working together -- discovering the good (pink flowers and a photo of Anne), bad, and ugly (piles of street trash) of Amsterdam as a team -- we won the race back to home base, and then stopped to collect and examine the representative piece of art that had taken shape along the way (our yellow paper collage). As a result of our faithful pursuit of the adventure, we came away with the prize (the official "Zolder Cup") -- something to be enjoyed both individually and collectively.

Does anyone else see the beauty of the spiritual metaphor in this?


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