In an interview with the VPRO Rikko Voorberg commented on the concept of concern: “For those who have much to lose in power or money, this time can be disconcerting. But for those who have nothing, it is a time of vibrating hope.”
He continues: “There is a classic text: ‘You are in the world, but not of the world.’ But I have to take distance from these words. It’s been a long road to realise that I want to embrace this world. I want to be here. Simply, in this world it needs to happen. As a young Reformed boy I used to think that sin was something as premarital sex or to buy clothes on Sunday. But that’s what I call moralism today. Sin is a pattern in our society, in our human behaviour. To jeopardize what is weak is always evil, we have to learn to share our food, to be conscious about where our clothing comes from.”
Voorberg initiated the Popup Church, a weekly celebration on Sunday with unchurched creatives in Amsterdam-West, with brunch, bread, wine, silence, texts and conversations. This initiative is spreading to other cities like Rotterdam, Arnhem and The Hague. “Every week we begin again and again to realize another world, where we are sharpened by the ideas and actions of the early Christian church.”
Voorberg was one of the initiators of the so called Vluchtkerk, Church of Refuge. In 2014 a vacant church was squatted for a group of demonstrating asylum-seekers, who were labelled _illegal _by the government. We have to take our responsibilities.
Rikko Voorberg (Kampen, 1980) is a writer, theologian, church pioneer, and performance artist. He studied theology in Kampen and refers to himself as “a theologian in the wild”; always looking for a new understanding of our humanity by exploring the ideas of Christianity together with artists, creatives and unbelievers. Together with Martijn Horsman he wrote the book The Manipulator, lessons in winning and losing with recognizable themes such as longing, nostalgia, emptiness and uncertainty. At the moment he is finalizing his book De dominee leert vloeken, een pleidooi voor woede (How a pastor learned to curse, a plea for anger) that will be published in October.
Hallway artwork by Daniele Formica & Silvana Gordon Valenzuela:
Poster by Gilles De Brock