A warm and spiritual
to welcome you
Hogar Salvador Ramirez
Adapted from a paper of Alain Brouze and his wife Esther Rubio
1. SCHEME AND GOAL OF THE PROJECT . . . . .click
2. PRACTICAL ASPECTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click
3. THE HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .click
4. THE GUESTS.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click
5. THE TEAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..click
6. HOUSEKEEPING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click
7. FINANCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click
8. TIMETABLE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click
1. MEDITATIVE AND SPIRITUAL ACCOMMODATION . click
2. CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click
THIRD PART: WORK DONE.
4. GOALS TO BE ACHIEVED NEXT....................................click
FOURTH PART: YOUR TURN!
1. SCHEME AND GOAL OF
The goal of this project is to realize - in the home the IEE possesses already - a welcoming, spiritual accommodation.
Two terms in which to define one project. Let us start with the latter:
A home that centers around spirituality is rooted in prayer. Concrete this is realized in the small chapel where we can have moments of daily prayer. This place is at the disposal of the guests and the workers in the house for prayer, meditation, song, reading or silent moments. This is the heart of the house and of everything there happens. We think that in our actual Western world and in the churches no less, there is a need for active and committed persons, to have places where one can think, look at God, at the essence of life, and at oneself. Such places are resting places on the way, where there are sympathetic ears to listen to us, and to accompany us.
When a home of spiritual richness is a home of prayer, it facilitates the meeting, the dialogue, the quest for new forms of liturgy and of healing the soul, the dialogue between the different religious movements and religions in our world, shortly: an meeting place with others (Other) and oneself.
Accommodation. We think of a house that can accommodate both individuals and families, and groups. Open to members of all churches and confessions, as much as to anybody who needs such a place of welcome and spirituality. A spirituality rooted in prayer.
Such a project goes with the tradition of the I.E.E. which has of old a fine ear for the needs of the Spanish society. In the past there was a need for schools and schooling, now we see fit - complementary to our other services - to have a house that can accommodate for those who seek in western society the point and meaning of there life's, the many people that are sored and wounded by life, be it socially, economically, psychologically or spiritually, because of the way we live. Besides we feel that Protestantism can do with some rooting back in spirituality, without neglecting the intellect or the heart, our deepest being, where we communicate with God.
Now we see in this project two kinds of accommodation. One is the housing and bedding, feeding etc of our guests, and the other is formed by the multiple activities that the Home could generate.
The housing must be realized as soon as possible, as soon as the house conditions are what they should be.
Next to that we could have lectures, education and formation of adults, in cooperation with the Church, SEUT and other institutes of that kind.
It seems that the house itself needs only a few adjustments in order to be able and start the accommodation of people again.
Of course a detailed inventory of all that is needed to build and buy and change is overdue. It makes it possible to have a clear budget. As to the rooms, we think they should be more 2 or 3 beds rooms, and some single rooms too. Most of the rooms are now for groups. The rooms at the first floor have double panes, so the noises of bars and pubs in the vicinity needs not disturb our guests. If need be, the upper stories should be provided with them as well.
There is little doubt that a store of linen, mattresses, sheets, and towels will have to be bought.
In the kitchen a new outlet and chimney are needed, and a new fridge, all according to recent security rules. But the old furnace is not up to standard, as goes with the rest. Freezers and a pantry are needed, and all those little things that make it possible to have many people eat at a time.
Finally we need a place for a secretary with possibility to hook in on the World Wide Web, have an account of guests, realize the necessary publicity, create an internet site, and do the do the bookkeeping according to the rules in Spain, for which we will need an adequate computer program. And a computer, as mentioned. (Has anybody one extra?)
A list of priorities has to be accompanied by a list of the costs, beginning with the opening of the house as soon as possible, always respecting the going concern as such.
4. THE GUESTS
As said before, the home could accommodate individuals, families and groups.
The house does that already: in the year 2001-2002 there was more or less a 800 nights occupation, but it seems there is no address book from which we could come in contact with those who have used the house. con de la casa. Anyway, we think we had better stick to those persons who look for cheap lodgings in the first times, for holidays but somewhere different from the usual. As long as they accept the new essence of the house the must be welcome as ever. But at a certain moment the better conditions of the lodging will ask for better prices as well.
Not only our compatriots are welcome, but across the Pyrenees lies France, (ERF and society in general) as well as the rest of Europe .
A possibility might be the accommodation - in cooperation with se Social Service in Jaca and the Provincial authorities if willing - of people that need a moment of retreat, for instance maltreated women with their children.
Lectures for private or public concerns might seem an interesting possibility.
Let's not forget that Jaca is on the way to Santiago de Compostela. Yes, there is an official hostel, but when there are many people, they are usually packed, so we think that the Home could provide a dormitory with some beds for some pilgrims, as in fact it sometimes does. Financially that will not help much, but the accommodation of pilgrims belongs to the Christian vocation of the house, besides which people from all over Europe may come to know our Home. If they love it, they will make it known...
Friends that go the Way told us that places with an "extra" are essential for people who go the Way to Santiago in search for something spiritual.
5. THE TEAM.
To begin with, we propose one full time worker. As the work goes on, it will be necessary to contract others, but not all at 100%. From the start we need voluntaries to help us out in busy times. The voluntary work must be developed, not only with people in Jaca, but with others too who are willing to spend their time to the project as well. One might think as well of students from abroad, coming to learn Spanish and work at the same time with local people in a project like ours.
We need people that in due time are versatile enough to help in all aspects of the accommodations, in order to make the Home function well. The administration and the support will be the task of the couple in charge. Later on other members of the team may be included in the counseling and support. In our opinion they can only do this on the base of their being rooted in prayer, a base which will seep through in all actions of service, up till cooking and serving the meal as part or the Christian way of life. May a spirit of togetherness and warmth fill the Home!
There is already a committee for the Home in Jaca in existence. It is always good to have a management working together with a committee, as long as the plights and rights of every party is well established.
In the end the Home will have to be self supporting, but in the meantime a project like this has quite a few problems to overcome.
We see different possible sources of income :
* The Iglesia Evangélica Española will have to provide the initial salary.
* Foreign agencies might finance the budgets for investments (the work that needs to be done on and in the house, and material for accommodation).
* A Circle of Friends for the consolidation of the finances in the long run.
* The income the Home generates.
* Donations and legacies.
* Some product of (local) handiwork for sale (f. ex. postcards).
In about five years the Home should be able to subsist with the sole aid of the Circle of Friends (soon to be formed!)
A realistic budget will not be possible until the second year of existence, but an educated guess must be made as soon as possible. The first we need is the salary and a certain quantity of money to meet the general costs.
Help must be sought by those who know all about these things, like Pilar Agraz and José Manuel Mochón who could help us from their experience with Los Rubios to fix realistic prices.
What needs to be done now is:
* Creation of a Circle of Friends in Switzerland and elsewhere, and fundraising together with the Comisión Permanente.
* 1st of September 2004. Arrival if the family Brouze Rubio at Jaca.
* Contact with Onésimo Bartolomé (the keeper of long standing).
* Inventory of assets and needs and a budget for the works, to be sent to foreign agencies.
* Start of the necessary works an acquisition of the material.
* Make a list of tourist and hotel guides that might be interested in annunciating the Home and its services (f.ex. for those on the Camino de Santiago).
* Accommodation of the first guests as soon as feasible.
* Contact with political, social and clerical authorities and with the local Social services and powers of the district Aragon.
* Some folder to seek publicity, a bulletin of the Association and an internet site.
* September 2005 : "Official Inauguration of the Home" (?) and start of the activities of the Home together with the IEE, SEUT and Los Rubios.
* September 2007. Assessment of the project.
* September 2010. End of the foreign help and of the help from the IEE. Final assessment of the project.
Some essential texts Meditation on hospitality circles around biblical texts as Genesis 18, 1-15, Romans 15, 7 : Luc 19, 1-10 and Mateo 25, 40.
Follows a meditation on the Genesis text.
A belief under way
Abraham and Sara are nomads, as we all are in the faith (cf. 2 Cor 5, 1-17). They ware walking because of a promise towards Gods kingdom. Nevertheless one could rest underway, as does Abraham, in this bible passage, next to Mamre. Jaca hopes to offer such a resting place, where one can meet God.
A simple and concrete accomodation
Abraham and Sara offer their guests a welcome through important and concrete, quick gestures. So is our wish to give a concrete welcome which is to show something of Gods sweetness towards us all, to love with deeds and not just with words. Special care is to be taken to of the room, decoration, kitchen etc.
"The Lord appeared to Abraham next to Mamre"
Like in Matthew 25, 40, this passage calls our attention to a secret of accommodation: the presence of God in the other (cf. Hebrews 13, 2). Here the stranger, the poor one, is different, is bearer of a word of life and hope... they remember us that Gods love is for all and makes us a humanity of sisters and brothers. Thus pride is uncalled for in face of the one we help, but humility is. In this way the Home may be a point of meeting and mutual enrichment, towards an open mind for ecumenism.
Abraham understood the moment of meeting with God at Mamre as an essential moment in his life, a presence for Whom to bow down and adore. We feel that a time with God is nutrition to the workers in the Home and to those who are passing, as Abraham and Sara were nourished by the divine presence in order to realise their vocation.
"Where is Sara, your wife?", "But you have laughed!"
For Abraham and Sara, the meeting with God is a moment of truth. Abraham has to accept that the promise made to him will come to be true, and Sarah has to accept her lack of faith. God may give us insight in what is in our hearts and then cure it. We hope that our guests may meet people apt to help them in their problems, and have the possibility for quiet refuge in prayer, and come in contact with Gods mercy.
Mystery of a vocation Abraham and Sara who welcomed first were at their turn welcomed in Gods project. A project which is concrete and personal, but no less universal, since it leads to the coming of the Saviour, born from the race of David. So gives the meeting with God every unique person a place in His kingdom. Se we hope to offer help that is personal and pointed to his/her/their need.
The accomodation of Christ
The promise to Abraham and Sarah we see fulfilled in the coming of Christ, Who deeply shows how God welcomes us. His pardon love give us entrance to the Father and to each other. See Romans 15:7. Luc 19: 1-10 may help us to understand how God welcomes us, how He loves us, and reestablishes the contact with others. If we see sin not as moral failure but as something which impedes us to come to be the persons we are meant to be, and see forgiveness as healing of our innermost being, our job of listening and partaking, accompaning, within the Home, it might give room to a quest for new forms of pastoral practice, spiritual healing, liturgical and sacramental life (at the table of the Lord, where we live the restaured communion with God and the others) evoqued in Genesis 18 and Luc 19 in the symbol of a meal).
Seated at the Way to Santiago de Compostela, the Pilgrim's way, the Home of Jaca might be, God willing, that hostel on the way of nomads of the Christians and the church, a meeting place, a place of surprises, of hospitality, of healing, of which the apparition at Mamre offers us an amazingly vivid illustration of welcome to visitors unknown.
THIRD PART: AIMS ACHIEVED
in the activities for the Home
First there was a thorough clean up of cellars and attics, and every room in between. Rooms at the former granary on the third floor have been emptied, and one is destined to be a workshop for current jobs on the house.
The kitchen got a total make-over: a new furnace, washing machine, fridge and furniture. The electrical wiring was totally renewed end enhanced and is up to modern standard now.
The furniture of the chapel has been relocated, in order to create a more welcoming atmosphere, a place for meditation and prayer. The decorations in the Home are adapted in accordance with this goal. More wood, less metal.
The office is in working order, with budget, clients, friends, archives, all sorted in the personal computers.
The doors from the chapel to the street and inside have been the first job to be tackled, because the visibility was nil. Now it is obvious that here is a chapel. Curtains can be drawn when there are services etc.
In former times it was forbidden to advertise in whatever manner any church or church activity that was not Roman Catholic. Now that has changed, since 1978.
The sculptor of the new doors is a former pupil of rev. Salvador Ramirez, in pre-Franco times. Not only is he interested and sympathetic unto Protestantism, but he is an able woodworker as well, and has built several church doors already. He will be delighted with future jobs on the Home, and even his daughter is well known to members of the church, since she sings in the Jaca Choir.
A Circle of Friends has been instituted, complete with statutes and the first meeting was in Jaca, in March 2005.
The primary purpose is financial, since it is the meaning to ask very reasonable prices, affordable by those who most need the Home.
The secondary purpose is one of spiritual assistance, by constant prayer for Home, inhabitants and workers.
Two long-term guests were very welcome this winter, for their presence helped to pay for calefaction in this very cold time.
The budget is ready, despite of the fact that close inspection revealed that important jobs had to be done, that were overseen in former inspections. For one thing: the doors of the church, and the wiring of the kitchen. Besides: the heating of the chapel leaves much to be desired, and on the third floor…. there was no heating at all!
Other projects, like new beds etc. have to wait until there is more money.
There was a change of name: Casa del Arco had already been registered by a restaurant. Genesis 18 had always been a leading motif, so the next logical name was Mamre.
Contacts have been made with the City Hall: Ester Rubio, the female half of the board, is as a representative of the IEE member of a commission that plans to evaluate the city’s situation and make plans for a brighter future. By this activity the Brouze family have made the acquaintance of many people and organisations in the local social and the political field.
Licences are being sought for the exploitation of the Home, as consisting of a pension with kitchen, a chapel, and meeting rooms. Once everything is legal, publicity can be sought.
It is important to be seen and known, since the existence of this church is hardly known in spite of a 100 years presence. Now that has nothing to be wondered at, for it was illegal in former years to expose a (non-RC) congregation or a church as such to society. When this ban was lifted after 1978 the congregation in Jaca was very small, and not very outgoing. They would not know how.
At regular intervals a time for prayer has been set: at 8.30, 12.30 and 21 hr.
A liturgy is being created on the base of the one used at the ecumenical community in Caulmont (France), songs from Taizé and the hymnbook of the IEE, silence, holy scripture and meditation, one reading a day, respectively in the evening, the following morning and the afternoon.
Some research is going on into the actual needs of Spain in religious respect.
Together with ProHispania France the next French – Spanish colloquium is being organized. The theme will be: Pertinence of the Protestantism in the actual inter-religious Europe.
Then there is the centenary to be held of the Mission in High Aragon, coming from France, the origin of this congregation and this Home. The official opening of the latter is scheduled for 2006 as well.
The formation of a workgroup is under way. Those who are to come and work in the Home should rather be progressive in their spiritual life, and a form of ecumenism would – if possible – be appreciated very much by the directors.
They hope to lay contacts with the bishop of Jaca, with Buddhists, and with other groups that are looking for different forms of spirituality.
Syncretism is by no means the intention, but some cross-pollination as seen in the case of Abrahams meeting with de king of Salem, where Abraham leaves with a new theological concept. (Genesis 14:18 vv, see Hebr. 7:1-2)
Ester and Alain study Inner Healing (Method Daniel Maurinn GBI - Marion Rosen) This ought to help them get in contact with the actual spiritual reality, and to be open for the needs of this world.
Programs are being developed for training churches, groups etc.
The very first thing to achieve now is: to get known. The protestant testimony of the Home must radiate free education and freedom of thought.
The inheritance of the past hurts, and has to be healed, one has to come to terms with the sufferings and persecutions, before the new challenges of modern society can be met, is the opinion of Alain and Ester Brouze – Rubio.
They want to be there to help and heal where they can.
Several means are (to be) used in order to state the presence of the Home: the website (to be), folders, Circle of Friends, contact with tourist information offices (around the world if possible), personal meetings with the inhabitants of Jaca, and by you, who read this!
FOURTH PART: YOUR TURN...
Now what can you do?
Pray for the Home and all connected.
And talk about it. With your friends, in your church, if you go there, in your family.
Go for a holiday to Jaca, and meet the gang.
See with your very own eyes what is happening, and if it is worthwhile.
Look at the website,
and see how much is done!
Go fundraising, or donate some money yourself.*
You may be surprised, how much joy you may get out of this! :-)
* If you send it to the Caja Central of the IEE mention Jaca.
0074 26 0601553046