Saturday, July 25, 2015

St James

Blogging for yesterday fell victim to a time of socializing with old and new friends at the most spectacular bar/restaurant setting I have ever seen--a place designed with a stunning pre-Incan burial mound, lit up at night, as a backdrop. So I will try to cover two days in this post.

We were picked up by another of the senior priests of the diocese, along with a driver, in yet another very used 12-passenger van. In addition to Brenda and me and Fr Evans, the group consisted of Bishop and Mrs Hind once again, the new General Secretary of the Anglican Communion (Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon), the special assistant to the Archbishop of Canterbury for Anglican Communion Affairs (Canon Precious Omuku), Bishop Dorsey Henderson (retired of Upper South Carolina and now assisting in Florida, which also has a companion relationship with Peru), the Bishop of Paraguay (Peter Bartlett), and a lay woman from Dallas who handles finances for the Friends of Peru. 

This time our destination was the southern environs of Lima. (Lima is home to more than 10 million people, and is geographically immense. Traffic is consistently thick, and it would take about three hours to drive across town from north to south.) We visited two churches and a school attached to a third church. In the first case, we heard the moving testimony of three women whose lives had been positively affected by the ministries of the parish. In the second, we heard from a priest with an exuberant outsize personality as he described his 13 years in that work. At the third, we encountered school children in the midst of a pageant recounting the narrative of Peruvian independence from Spain, the annual national celebration of which is next week. All three are in locations and physical plants that would be considered impoverished or sub-par by U.S. standards, but are several rungs up the ladder from what we saw in north Lima the day before. 

It was nearly 2:00 by the time we were dropped off back at our hotel. The three of us were all hungry for seafood, and with some asking around, located a very nice fish restaurant nearby. After eating, we took the opportunity for some down time back at the hotel.

Not too long thereafter, we reported to the cathedral, just three short blocks away, where we ("we" being an even larger group now) boarded a full size (and, again, very "tired") bus for a 45 minute ride through monumentally congested traffic to the offices of the Diocese of Peru, where there was a reception for the three new bishops-to-be and their families, and all the guests--from other parts of South America, the U.S., and England. It was a very happy occasion.

We were dropped off back at the cathedral around 9:00, after which came the visit to the exotic bar mentioned above.

This morning Fr Mark and Brenda and I hunted for breakfast. We weren't too choosy, so we settled for a Chili's franchise, which sort of thing is always "kind of" like its American counterpart, but also kind of not. But, in any case, we ate. Which was a good thing, because it would be several hours before we would have another opportunity. I grabbed my vestment bag from the hotel room closet and hiked back to the cathedral, where the vesting area for visiting dignitaries was the home of the Dean and his family. The consecration liturgy was scheduled to begin at 10:00. I didn't notice what time it was when we processed into the church, but it was around 1:30 when we got out. The service was quite glorious. The cathedral was packed. (It's about the size of St Paul's in Springfield.) The ordinands were radiant. The Primate of the Province of South America preached. It was obvious that three quite extraordinary men had been chosen by a diocese that holds them in high esteem. Everything was in Spanish, of course, save for a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury that was read at the end. I find that when native speakers speak Spanish, I pick up about 10%. But when a non-native speaker talks (like Bishop Godfrey), that figure rises to more like 90%.

There was, of course, a reception with light refreshments in the cathedral parish hall. Then, the VIPs (for lack of a better term) got back on last night's bus to be driven about 30 minutes to a restaurant for a pre-arranged lunch (if a meal that concludes at 5:00 can be called such!). Once again, it was a great time for visiting and cultivating relationships. 

At that point, dinner plans didn't seem to make sense, so it was a quiet evening at the hotel.

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