Praising in Papyrus

Uganda has a great deal to offer the world and my wish is that the world would listen to the Ugandan melodies.
Melodies of culture, courtesy,medicine, courage.Generosity, patience (but not fast enough) hope,love and faith. And the  rarer irritants that go deep deep deep, metamorphose to training tools and transform.

The  church of England offers training for lay ministry and time for reflection outside the usual.Uganda is a few thousand miles outside the usual but I owe huge thanks to my mentors of vision whose gaze reaches beyond a diocese in order to help the diocese. A reader in the church doesn’t just read and the Christian gospel is not geographically bound.

The church I am attached to knows how to praise, it knows how to suffer and it knows how to fight with the  gentleness of Christ. It is hard to know each tiny drop that makes the flood, but each plays it’s part. It is humbling and empowering

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to visit the papyrus reed churches,the church meeting under a tree and the new churches starting.

And the opportunity is great to meet and talk with all the variety of humankind that is offered. From being given the pulpit on International Women’s Day, to the counselling of children,from the pulpit on Ugandan TV to helping the sick children and their parents privilege is too small a word.

So sharing belief is a great unifier of values and desires, direction and understanding. Ugandan fellow followers of Christ teaching me and shining as bright stars with his love in this world.

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Education Sunday

1st February  2015

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It’s Sunday!
In many Christian churches in the UK,today, education is talked
about and schools staff and pupils prayed for. Education Sunday. This is an education Sunday for me, as was last Sunday and as every Sunday can be.

I didn’t like the cockrel this morning.. All that loud flapping of wings before his virile pride burst forth into a dark hot 5 o’clock morning. Shhh and go away!

But education Sunday had begun and out of the darkness came harmonious rich beautiful singing. I’m not able to understand the words but the gentleness of the singing was a much better alarm clock than Mr.Cock.African singing at its best.

Lesson one : the local church can be
deeply devotional and not tied to a Sunday lie in.Jesus comes first.

Lesson two: corperate harmonious worship can enrich a community and it’s ok to let the neighbours hear.

At 7am, still behind the mosquito net snoozing I heard my host, the pastor, leaving for the first service. I didn’t want to get up.Too comfortable. Others of our household were sweeping floors and tending to small children. I didn’t want to get up just then,either.

Lesson 3: There’s a lot of work to be done. Lying in bed doesn’t get it done.

I attended the third church service of the day at 1100.  What joy!
Music already in full swing with over two hundred  gathered for worship. Singing, drums, dancing and lots of small children everywhere. It’s loud but the amplifier makes it very loud. It’s welcoming and joyful and controlled. It’s a performance only to an observer not to those interested in worship,but it is hard not to feel stiff.Everyone’s smiling and that soon includes me.

Lesson four: don’t be so self conscious. Noone ‘s watching you. Worship.

The photo attaching this post is all about help for shoes punning the good news.

The preacher’s job is to point to real help for souls. I’ve never experienced so much applause in a sermon as this one  progressed. Spontaneous  congregation participation. Real anguish healing and forgiveness from God is the experience of the congregation here.They know it and are believing and very very grateful.

Lesson five:
Jesus died for you and can heal your soul and bring healing in your life.The cobbler gets it and it’s up to your answer to the question Jesus asked Peter. “Who do you say I am? ” See Matthew ‘s gospel chapter sixteen verses15-19

I’m sort of bilingual.. I can get by.Spontaneous translation is quite another art. They have sermon translation down to a fine art. Fast and fiery at times, the preacher changes language and so must the interpreter. It’s slick and professional.And the occasional untranslatable word or saying

Lesson 6:
Uganda and so much of Africa is a bank full of credit for the world. The world sits staring like a miser at a pile of gold.

Lesson 7 : Man’s inhumanity to man is a worldwide phenomenon not an African one.

Education Sunday… So much to learn, so much to be thankful for and so much to respond to.