I’m Lauri. I live next to the Alppila church. It’s almost in my backyard. It’s been five years that I have lived here. Originally I’m from a small town.
What I like in the Alppila church is that it’s open and it’s easy to meet people. I really like meeting people there, listening to their stories. There are some characters, like Anja who is volunteering: she is steady as a rock, and everybody listens to her.
People have a lot to tell… maybe one day I will do an art project where I would come to the church, talk with people and record their stories, their memories. In this particular church, people are very attached to their neighborhood. I really think someone should record the memories and the stories of the people of Alppila. Otherwise, all this collection of little pieces of life will be gone forever. Maybe one day there will be no more stories.
”I STARTED COMING TO THE CHURCH FOR THE TUESDAY LUNCH. AT FIRST, I CAME BECAUSE IT WAS CHEAP FOOD. THEN I MET MORE AND MORE PEOPLE THERE, AND I STARTED LOVING THE PLACE A LOT.”
At some point I discovered that there is a gym in the basement of the church. So with some artist friend, we created three years ago the ”Alppilan bodarit” and we trained together. We’ve been a bit lazy recently but there is still one member of the group practicing at the church every week. I must say also that the food at the church is absolutely incredible: Manu does an amazing job. Such a good job that sometimes when I’m away, I really miss his food…
I work in a forest, in the countryside. My job is really physical. At the end of the day, I can feel almost every muscle in my body. I love this work because I’m away from the city, in nature. Each day is different there. I love Nature. When I feel down, or if I really want to feel good, I go to Viikki’s nature reserve. And I count birds. Last year I spotted 143 birds. And 110 different mushrooms, but not only in Viikki. I noted them all down on a paper and I took pictures of the mushrooms. It’s funny to think that in the 80’s, Viikki and the surroundings used to be literally a shithole. Now there are new, large paths where even a wheelchair can go: everyone can explore the nature there, everyone.
Working with wood is something that is important for me. I made 7 wooden praying chairs that I gave to the church. They are so precisely made: I’ve put all my heart in them. A friend of mine taught me how to make them, and when I heard that Nina needed some kind of chairs for a retreat, I decided to build them. Working with wood is a bit like a zen practice for me. I really love it, it soothes me, it makes me feel good. Now I’m creating a kind of house made of wooden bricks that will be used for family therapy.
I think what I love the most at Alppila church, is that people don’t put their egos on the table. People are humble. They are truly living the moment. In this church, they are so many different people gathered under the same roof. I really think that without the church, it would be difficult to reach an egoless moment. God keeps people gathering without ego. That’s one of his powers.