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FTS was established in 1999 as a collaboration between parishes in Hjallese and Skt. Knud Deaneries in Odense Municipality. FTS is funded by the deaneries, membership contributions from the parishes as well as project funds from Danmission.
The Articles of Association of FTS state that the purpose of FTS is to "work among asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants with the intention of furthering a popular and religious integration across ethnic and religious differences." (§3)
Link to the Articles of Association (See separate)
The Language Café has around 7,000 visitors every year. In addition, we have the people who attend our church services, lectures, excursions and other activities.
FTS is aimed at a diverse group of people - refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers from almost all corners of the world. Everyone is welcome and we socialize across ethnic, cultural and religious differences. The personal contact opens up the possibility of friendship, understanding and respect.
Some people come to FTS to become better at the Danish language. Others come to get advice and guidance, and to familiarize themselves with Danish society. Some come to have a confidential conversation, others to find a religious community at our international church services and the services in English.
FTS also offers
Lectures, teaching and consultancy.
-How the Danish Lutheran Church (Folkekirken) meets refugees and immigrants
-Religion in the public sphere
-Inter-faith dialogue/Religious dialogue (Islam and Christianity)
-Diaconia and counseling in the meeting with refugees and immigrants
-Prejudices! Are prejudices always an evil? And what do I do with them?
-Courses on Christianity for refugees and immigrants
-Courses on Baptism of adults
-Courses on the history, beliefs and practices of Islam
-Consultancy Cross-cultural dialogue and Inter-faith dialogue
-Conversion of religion Cross-cultural collaboration - How do we get started?
-Islam in Denmark
-The history, beliefs and practices of Islam
-Pastors and parish councils within the Diocese of Funen (Fyens Stift) can always contact us with possible questions regarding change of religion, baptism of asylum seekers and other topics regarding cross-cultural dialogue and inter-faith dialogue.
Contact Marianne Hougaard Larsen or Jesper Hougaard Larsen for further information, prices, etc. at telephone: 63 12 08 73.
Debate and Articles
The collaborators of FTS are a diverse group and include parishes, institutions, ethnic associations, municipal bodies, religious organizations etc.
FTS has 21 member parishes in Hjallese and Skt. Knuds Deaneries. Locate the parishes atSkt. Knuds Deanery: www.provsti.dk/odensesanktknud Hjallese Deanery: http://www.provsti.dk/hjallese/
The day-to-day heads of FTS are pastors at Skt. Knuds Kirke og Gråbrødre Klosterkirke:www.odense-domkirke.dk
The Diocese of Funen (Fyens Stift) and the Episcopate (Bispeembedet) is an important collaborator for FTS.
The Diocese of Funen: www.fyensstift.dk
Danmission also funds the work of FTS: www.danmission.dk
Links to other ecclesiastical (kirkelige) organizations:
-Folkekirke og Religionsmøde: www.religionsmoede.dk
-Den danske Folkekirke: www.folkekirken.dk
-Det mellemkirkelige Råd: www.interchurch.dk
-Ministeriet for Ligestilling og Kirke: www.km.dk
-Islamisk-Kristent Studiecenter: www.ikstudiecenter.dk
-Kirkernes Integrations Tjeneste: www.kit-danmark.dk
-Mødestedet på Vesterbro
-Mødestedet på Amager
-Tværkulturelt Center i Ribe Stift
-Tværkulturelt Samarbejde i Kolding Provsti (eller hvad det nu hedder)
-Intercultural.dk - en netressource for interkulturelle og interreligiøse relationer og studier: www.intercultural.dk
International Church Services
An international church service is held at 6.p.m. the first Saturday of every month (except July). The service is primarily aimed at new Danes, but everyone is welcome to attend. The service is conducted in both Danish and English. The service is followed by a dinner. The church services are held at Skt. Knuds Kirke (The Cathedral), Klosterbakken 2, 5000 Odense C. Pastor for Refugees and Immigrants: Jesper Hougaard Larsen.
Church Services in English
A church service in English is held at 5.p.m. one Wednesday every month (except June & July) and is for anyone who, for one reason or another, would like a church service conducted in English. The service is followed by snacks and a glass of wine or juice. The English church services are held at Gråbrødre Klosterkirke, Jernbanegade 9, 5000 Odense C. Pastor for the English -speaking: Marianne Hougaard Larsen.
List of church services
The Language Café is the place where people meet on a daily basis - it is the heart of the house. In friendly and cozy surroundings you can learn Danish: write, read, practice pronunciation, play with the language, and get help with your homework. You can also get help with reading and understanding letters, bills, etc. In addition to the regular staff, the Language Café includes around 30 volunteers who help out every week. The Language Café is where we meet and get to know each other, as well as the place that greet you when you first walk in the door of FTS (Cross-Cultural Network).
The Women's Group
The Women's Group meets on Tuesday 2 am. - 4 am. and includes women from all over the world.The women get to know each other through shared experiences such as:
• Talks about what goes on in life in general, in the world, in Danish society or in other countries
• Visiting museums, trips to the city, visiting second-hand shops, etc.
• Knitting blankets for the work of Mother Teresa
• Visiting each other, as well as others who would like a visit
• Singing together
In the Women's Group we put an emphasis on all the things that we have in common as women, and on the mutual trust which makes it possible to be curious about our differences. We are always excited to welcome new women to the group.
About once a month you are welcome to attend a lecture or participate in an activity “out-of-the-house”. We have outside lecturers as well as staff, volunteers and users of the café who contribute with lectures. The topics of the lectures could be: trips, experiences from your native country, traditions, movies, life stories, music, song, or a specific topic that you are passionate about. “Out-of-the-house” activities mean that the activity takes place at a museum, an activity in the city, a walking tour of the city, or some other activity.
Folk High School activities
In connection with the official school holidays: autumn holiday, winter holiday, and summer holiday we offer activities for both children and adults. The Language Café is transformed into activities such as; playing, storytelling, a painting workshop, movies, excursions, visit to local churches and museums, cooking, etc.
Autumn Folk High School
Takes place during the official school autumn holiday (week 42)
Winter Folk High School
Takes place during the official school winter holiday (week 8)
Summer Folk High School
The date has not yet been set.
Thursday night is the designated “Social Café night”. The focus of the Social café is conversation and socializing. There is time and room for deeper conversation, playing a game, watching the news on TV, or some other spontaneous activity. It is, however, not possible to get help with Danish, homework, letters, bills, etc.
Several different activities take place throughout the year. The activities will be announced in the calendar as soon as the dates are scheduled.
Shrovetide is celebrated at Skt. Knuds Kirke and at City Hall on Quinquagesima Sunday/Shrove Sunday.
Islam Forum is for people who have an interest in the inter-faith meeting of Christianity and Islam. Islam Forum takes place once a year in Odense.
Winter Folk High School
Takes place during the official school winter break (week 8)
The Women’s Spring Celebration
The Women’s Spring Celebration takes place on a Friday night in April.
Midsummer Day/ Saint John’s Eve
Midsummer Day/Saint John’s Eve is celebrated at Munkebjerg Kirke.
Summer Folk High School
The date has not yet been set.
Culture- and Ramadan Celebration
In collaboration with the municipality of Odense and several different ethnic groups in Odense we mark the end of Ramadan with a celebration.
Autumn Folk High School
Takes place during the official school autumn break (week 42)
A Christmas party and concert are held at one of the churches and congregation halls on a Saturday in December.
If a relevant activity presents itself or an interesting guest is in town we like to arrange impromptu excursions or lectures. Be sure to check the calendar.
Employees At Folkekirkens Cross-cultural Collaboration in Odense
- Marianne Hougaard Larsen, Cand. theol. (Master of Theology) from Aahus University in 1989. Head and pastor for the English-speaking. Responsibility: Cross-cultural Women’s Group, Mamma Mia, PR, website, church services and religious ceremony in English, counseling, contact with ethnic and cultural associations. Marianne is available for teaching, lectures and course activity. Previously Marianne has worked as a pastor and hospital chaplain and as a teacher at Den Frie Lærerskole (The Independent Academy for Free School Teaching). She has also headed the language school and been wedding coordinator at the Danish Church in Los Angeles, as well as served as regional secretary at “Kirkens Korshær" (working in the area of ‘social work’)
- Jesper Hougaard Larsen, Cand.theol. (Master of Theology) from Aahus University in 1991. Project manager and Pastor for Refugees and Immigrants Responsibility: Day-to-day project management, finances, staff, contact with parishes, religious organizations and collaborators, international church services, religious ceremony and counseling. Jesper is available for teaching, lectures and course activity. Previously Jesper has worked as a pastor for deaf people and as a pastor at the Danish Church in Los Angeles. Furthermore, Jesper has worked as a teacher at Den Frie Lærerskole (The Independent Academy for Free School Teaching) and as a teacher for church staff.
- Karin Lundsgaard (Educated in Nutrition and Health). Day-to-day head of the Language Café. Responsibility: Day-to-day coordination of activities in the Language Café, as well as the day-to-day contact with the volunteers. Previously, Karin has worked as a teacher and as an agricultural consultant.
- In addition, we also have student assistants on our staff.