Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter!

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
So much is happening that it is difficult to find time to keep up with this blog! However, I hope you have caught on to our college website and the separate photo site which have some more up to date stuff. See the links to the right.
Two days after Bishop David left us we were visited by yet another distinguished guest. This time Professor Joseph Britton, the Dean of Berkeley Divinity School, Yale, New Haven in the USA came and spent several days in the college and lecturing in Juba Cathedral on celebrating Holy Week and Easter. The students were fascinated by all he had to tell about Berkeley, and the Anglican Church in America in general - and so we were we. It was a joy to host him.
Last week the visitors were from closer to - St Paul's University in Limuru. Professor Zablon Mutongu and a librarian, Judy Syombua came to inspect us to ascertain whether we meet their standards for affiliation. The students were more subdued, probably feeling the importance of this for the future of the college. But even if we don't make it this time we will next if we have the new site in operation. We will hear in a week or two.
And on Tuesday of this week six people from Trinity College Bristol, UK will arrive to be with us for a week. They are coming to learn from us and we from them. This is especially interesting for the students because while distinguished international bishops and academics have an amazing "wow", ordinary students doing theology like them will have their own special impact. We'll report on that when they've come.
Easter here is special in its own extraordinary way. Maundy Thursday was a fascinating combination of African and European music that followed some kind of order after everybody's feet had been washed. A team of priests washed about 60 pairs of feet. Half-way through the service the power went and we finished the service in candle light which was kind of appropriate.
Easter Eve had the celebration of the new fire and the lighting of the Easter but in an unusual order. The service was advertised to begin at 6 pm. However, here no-one comes on time for evening events, and we did not expect it to begin before 6.30 pm. When we turned up there were very few there. We were early. But then one of the cathedral priests came and asked if he could Have a word with me in the vestry. There had been a slip up and no-one had been asked to preach. Could I do it?! Well, how can you say no? So I had a very short time in which to prepare to preach at one of the most significant services in the year! Most of the time was spent in rushing home for my robes. But we had done quite a bit of work on Easter in the college. I told the story of the Early Church's celebrating in an age of persecution. Stepping out into the darkness carrying the Light would not have been easy for them.
Easter Day was a huge scrum. It was survival of the fittest. When we got in the main door there wasn't a seat to be had. Tina found a ledge on a window between the atrium and the nave. However two lady sidespersons somehow "magicked" some chairs and squeezed them in in front of the atrium partition. So we sat there looking at a wall three feet away. It was a really joyous occasion nonetheless.
The picture above was taken on Easter Eve when the cathedral was not quite so full.
The picture below is of our "family" outside the cathedral on Easter Eve with our candles. Tina, Trevor, Robin and Rebecca who joined us this year. Rebecca is from West London but for some unaccountable reason supports Man U.

No comments: