by Ruth Steiner – Aargauer Newspaper
Ursula Brücker had an understanding for inattentive students in class. str
“Know Chile – läbe Chile” was Ursula Brücker’s assignment for 28 years. After almost three decades, the catechist leaves the regional school. She experienced time as “shamefully beautiful”.
Ursula Brücker says that over the years she has experienced the cooperation with the children as “shamefully beautiful”. For 28 years she taught religious education at the Lenzburg schools. “Know Chile – Let Chile be” is the mission, which means as much as introducing the children into the life of the church.
To look for the relation to the everyday life of the children belongs to it. This has led to many a lively discussion with the pupils. And this resulted in just as many anecdotes that Ursula Brücker remembers all too well.
So she regularly participated in a christening service with the 3rd graders. The baptist and his family were invited to the lessons, gifts were made and good wishes for the child were expressed. Brücker suspects that some of these could hardly be surpassed in originality and might have corresponded to his own secret desires. “I wish you would one day become Miss Switzerland,” is an example that the catechist still smiles at today.
The woman looks youthful, her stories as well, her gaze is alive. One hardly takes it from her when she says: “No, no, I’m not leaving early.” She has attached two years of schooling to the age-related orderly retirement. But now it’s over: Together with Elsbeth Zimmermann, who taught religious education for sixteen years, she has now stopped.
Protest against liberal attitude
Why did Ursula Brücker become a catechist? Is there a missionary drive behind it? Brücker shakes her head, smiles. As a teenager she preferred to draw during her own confirmation classes, she remembers. Nevertheless, she later became a Sunday school teacher. And the first catechist at the school in Lenzburg. She gave the religious instruction, which was not obligatory for the pupils, on behalf of the Reformed Church. It was not until almost three decades ago, long after the Catholic Church, that the Reformed Church began teaching in schools. A correct step, says Brücker. “We live in a Christian culture that influences us whether we like it or not. Right also because many parents are grateful if they could delegate this task, so to speak.
Ursula Brücker has a very open attitude about how “God’s Word” should be lived in everyday life. Yes, for certain parent circles it is even too liberal. So it happened that a child was not allowed to attend religious education with her. Her father had complained: “They are not devout enough.” Ursula Brücker weighs her head and confesses that, even as a believing person, she has a lot of trouble with the term “pious”. “The expression is too strongly cemented with constraints as to how the Word of God is to be lived,” she says. On the other hand, she prefers open dialogue.
When Pilate became Rigi.
But there is something else: Like other teachers, she increasingly had to struggle with discipline in her teaching. Because no grades are awarded in the subject of religion, the young people have had to get rid of excess energy in class every now and then. The catechist shows understanding for this, because it is not uncommon for the troublemakers to be busy. Brücker has made a virtue out of necessity, turning the incident into material for the lesson. She was flexible in this respect. “I always tried to pick up the children from where they were standing.
Finally Ursula Brücker tells an anecdote: In a quiz she once asked for the name of the Roman governor at the time of Jesus. A child said in his chest that he was convinced that was the Rigi. He could still remember exactly. “They told us that the name was easy to remember. It was the same as a mountain near Lucerne”. The catechist still smiles at the thought of it today. The Rigi is actually not far from Pilatus.