The Words of the Reihl Family

HARP August News 2003 - Spain, Austria

Elisabeth Riehl
August, 2003

Hello Europe!

After the summer holidays we are back again, fresh and ready to go! During the last 2 months we had no regional activities. Some HARPies visited the European workshops and other activities. Our big event in Austria this summer was the joined Swiss and Austrian Summer WS with the suiting motto "2-gather". We were 110 participants, plus 15 staff gathered in Seebenstein, our workshop centre, from the 31st of July to the 8th of August. The place was packed. Luckily, we had the best weather and could eat outside, play sports every afternoon, go swimming to a pool close by, start building a tree house, work in the garden, and so on.

Looking at the internal programme, our main topic was to get to know other religious minorities. One morning we had the Mormons with us, another morning we invited the Sahaja Yoga. We could see very similar points, but we could also find out pretty soon how much deeper our Principles can guide us to God. It was very interesting, although for some younger HARPies difficult to listen. Of course we had Principle lectures by Andreas Bauer and for the last days we had both National Leaders with us at the WS. We were also happy to have a catholic girl join us for the workshop. It took time for her to adapt, but she participated in every activity (even pledge) and enjoyed it. She now comes to Sunday Services in Vienna. The HARPies really cared for her, and still do. Otherwise, we had the usual programme although its different every time. We had a campfire, entertainment evening, rock out, movies, prayer evening, and much more.

Although Switzerland and Austria are neighbours, we had many differences. It took a few days to mix and mingle, and then, of course, the farewell was difficult. Many HARPies said that it was the best WS for them, even though there were so many people that it was difficult to care for everyone individually.

So, after the WS we already had 2 committee meetings, one to reflect upon the workshop, the other one to look ahead at the next months and what we want to achieve.

And we also used the holiday time to have a regional leaders meeting from the 22nd to the 24th of August. There are 3 regional leader changes ahead: in Vienna, Upper Austria and Carinthia. So, we invited the newcomers and talked about very practical and basic things, how to organise a meeting and what is expected of a regional leader. We were lucky enough to stay at a tiny house next to a lake. It was wonderful and we were in nature a lot. So we could also get some energy from that for the upcoming season.

We also wish that you all could gain some energy from the holidays.

Many greetings from Austria, Elisabeth Riehl, Austrian HARP leader

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