Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Settling In

I am quickly settling into my new role as one of the ministers at St John the Baptist. I visited one of the villages south of Musanze where the diocese is building a new church. To say that the road to get to the village is rough would be a little bit of an understatement.  I will have to say that the church has one of the best views I have ever seen. The church is located on top of a mountain with a broad valley opening up to the west. Every church should have such a view of God’s creation. (see the pictures below) I also visited with the children that attend the village nursery school. This school was started by the diocese to give the children in this village a good start toward an education. When they are old enough for primary school they will attend a boarding school in Musanze. It will have to be a boarding school because the only way they have to get there is to walk, and the distance is too great to make the walk on a daily basis.

I attended my first church committee meeting and found that I was right at home. The concerns they have at St. John the Baptist are the same concerns I have heard at every church I have attended. How do we get the youth interested in attending worship and joining the choir? What about the music? Are we using the right music? Could we use more of the old hymns? The Mothers Union (women’s ministry) has a strong group, but we need to strengthen the Fathers (men’s ministry). How do we do outreach? We need more social events so everyone can get to know each other.  Honestly, until this committee meeting, I was really concerned about how I would fit in and what I could in reality do for the English service.  After this meeting it has become clear why I was called to this task. I now have a goal, one that I feel that I am qualified to undertake, and that goal is Sunday School. Currently the English service does not have a Sunday School and that is going to be one of my top priorities. We can address so many of the current concerns by establishing a good Sunday School program.  Do I sound Baptist or what?  I think Sunday School is a Baptist mantra. I told them that were taking a chance putting a Baptist in charge.  I am not sure if the English service is going to be Anglican-Baptist or Baptist-Anglican, but I will say I am learning a lot about the Book of Common Prayer and the lectionary.

Let’s see – I came to help build a University, and now I am the pastor for the English service at St John the Baptist Cathedral, construction project manager for the building of 4 chicken houses, design engineer and project manager for a water system at Sonrise School, and I am the maintenance engineer for Sonrise and possibly the Cathedral. Oh, and I am also teaching “Lead like Jesus” to the managers and supervisors at Ishema Hotel - the hotel that is owned by the diocese. I just don’t know what I am going to do in my spare time...

If you would like to preach at the English service at St John the Baptist Cathedral, please let me know and I will but you on the schedule. I am also looking for youth Sunday school teachers if anyone would like to apply.

Isaiah 58:12 - Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

 Front of the Church

Inside the building

The view

More of the view

 The kids!

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