On the quiet Stockholm side street of Eriksbergsgatan, located near an area of town otherwise known for its lively social scene—fine restaurants, upscale shopping, and Sweden's Royal Dramatic Theatre—is what seems like an endless row of early20th-century stone buildings. The first time I walked along this street, about two and a half years ago, I was headed to building number 10, where I knew I'd find First Church of Christ, Scientist—or as the sign that welcomed me in Swedish said, "Forsta Kristi Vetenskaparkyrkan." Summer had probably already left Stockholm weeks before, but I felt a genuine warmth as members of the church welcomed me, a stranger, to their service.
A warm welcome brightens a stranger's visit.
The church that gave me such a kind welcome has recently greeted many others, including those who represent a variety of religious backgrounds. December 22 of last year was such an occasion, when the church played host to and co-sponsored "peace Under One God," an in-terfaith rally in support of world peace. That day, the church welcomed people not only of diverse faiths—Christianity, Judaism, Islam, as well as other traditions—but also refugees who had left their homelands in the hope of finding the freedom to practise their religion. I had met a member of the church, Helga Moersberger, during Christmas of 2002, when I'd made a return trip; and by telephone, Moersberger recently filled me in on the details of the peace rally.
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