Summer – Blessings and God’s business

Polly teaching "Praying in Color" at St. Luke's Chester, VT

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8.

Chester and Vermont are our Jerusalem/Judea.  Peru is going to the ends of the earth, and we do not mean that metaphorically.  We love Peru, and Lima where we live.  The poor of Peru are our Samaria.  Each summer we return to Vermont to be with family during these later years of our lives, to visit and share with our supporters. We are building relationships with this New England community, and that takes time, especially for outlanders.

Our local bear visiting our house in the early morning

We have been working with various fellowship groups and churches around New England this summer. We have spent valuable time with family.  God has blessed us with beautiful surroundings in Vermont in which we write, pray, read, plan and welcome visitors, even black bears! Ian has been traveling on behalf of the Diocese of Peru and the new 501c3 called Amigos del Peru.

We return to Peru September 8th. We will be moving into a new apartment near the cathedral where we will be working most Sundays. Ian will continue to work to encourage and train clergy, and I will work on the Christian Education materials for the diocese. Other responsibilities emerge each day.  Ian works closely with Bishop Godfrey.  I have been researching Godly Play and how it could be adapted to the Peruvian culture.  We look forward to renewing our friendships with our Peruvian and missionary family.   And, of course, we will continue to improve our Spanish and cultural learning!

Leading worship for St. Andrew's, Turners Falls, MA

We thank you for your prayers and financial support. We continue to need both. Winning souls and encouraging believers is a spiritual battle.  We count on your prayers for protection and obedience. Financially, we need more support as we spend more of our time in Peru, travel to churches outside Lima and furnish an apartment. The exchange rate is worsening—good news for Peru! Most importantly, we need you on our team.  Thank you for being our team, helping us to listen, live among, and love without strings attached.

Teaching, Grace Anglican Fellowship, NH

We like to keep in touch via our blogs and through these occasional newsletters. Also, we love hearing from you via e-mail, Facebook and Skype (see the about Ian page for addresses).

Faithfully,

Polly and Ian

To support us please go to the HOW TO HELP page above

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Random shots of family and England – July 2010

These are simply random shots that I liked – churches, family.  This has been a time of blessings and gifts.

This morning as I looked out of the window there were two fox cubs chasing each other, gamboling and playing in the garden.  What a joy.

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Churches Alive – NOT redundant

Ian in Buckden, near Cambridge

It has been my joy this visit to England to attend the local Church in Dulwich, London and to visit my cousin’s parish in Buckden near Cambridge.  I also visited a small Hampshire parish in the village of Seele.  Three stories of hope emerge for me.

St. Stephen's, Dulwich and the Crystal Palace tower

In Dulwich I attended St. Stephen’s parish this Sunday.  I went to the 8:00 am service.  I was delighted to worship with about two dozen folk at an excellent BCP service which included an excellent sermon in the Good Samaritan.  The final lesson was critical and well put – our main responsibility is to worship God, BUT we do so first in our Godly service to the poor and needy, who bear the image of God.  It so reminded me of our ministry in Peru where “Mision Integral” seeks both spiritual and social transformation, especially among the poor.  Fr. Bernhard gave me a wonderful personal welcome after the service.  This parish Church is ALIVE.  Praise God.

Seele parish church, Hampshire

In the village of Seele my brother and I visited but were unable to enter the church – for the best of reasons – they were holding a  service for children and parents.  It was a weekday too!  Again this is an ALIVE parish.

Lastly I visited the parish church of Buckden with my cousin Richard Noble.

Richard and Rachel Noble

Richard was until retirement the bursar of Ridley Hall in Cambridge and a very active but subtle lay evangelist.  Their parish is next to a wonderful Roman Catholic retreat called St. Claret where Katherine of Aragon spent a lonely year and whose buildings are like a small Hampton Court having been built in the same era and graced by Cardinal Wolsey.  What I loved most, quite apart from the beauty of the buildings and grounds was he fact that there is a door between the C of E Church and the RC retreat.

St. Claret and Buckden parish

How wonderful.  This Church is building a haven for folk traveling the A1 (major road from London to Scotland) as it is the first “roundabout” north of London on what is otherwise like an interstate highway.  Richard has started an active mens’ breakfast ministry, a prayer ministry and they have just finished supporting two theological students at St. Paul’s, Limuru, Kenya, where I taught briefly while on sabatical in 2005.  Rachel Noble is very much involved as warden and I suggested that Peru and our Sts. Augustine seminary might be a worthy successor.  We are much in need of support.

Buckden gargoyle

Last year I was somewhat depressed to find “redundant” churches – empty, beautiful but without people.  What a joy this year to find the opposite.  It all depends upon where one looks.

I made my annual pilgrimage to Oxford – what a joy it was to meet up again with Bishop Henry Scriven.

Bishop Henry Scriven at CMS HQ

We were made deacon together in 1975 at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Henry now directs the SAMS section of CMS.  I was also able to meet a number of the vital end energetic folk who work there on behalf of God’s mission around the world.  I am happy to say that my relationship with CMS is now regularized as an Associate Mission Partner.

I revisited the martyr’s memorial in Oxford where +Hugh Latimer, +Nicholas Ridley (1555) and + Thomas Cranmer (1556) were burned alive for their faith in Queen Mary’s purge of Protestants.  For me this is a pilgrimage.  All the more important now when the Church seems to be tearing itself apart we are called to stand under the authority of the Holy Scriptures and not to be ruled by the “spirit of the age.”

Martyr's Cross opposite Baliol College

Oxford Martyrs' Cross

Queen Katherine window, Buckden

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Friends of God’s choosing

This summer has been a wonderful time of meeting up with fellow missionaries.

With Bishop Godfrey in Coronado, CA

We have been back for just over a month and we have met up with all the SAMS-USA missionaries to Peru.  To my right is the visit in California with Bishop Godfrey.  Bishop and Judith Godfrey are missionaries with USPG from England.

Shaw and Julie - Note the Peruvian stole!

Earlier this summer I met with Shaw and Julie Mudge at the Diocese of Albany annual convention and diocesan retreat.

Mike and Ian at Albany Convention

Also there was Bishop Evangelist elect Mike Chapman.

We all had a fabulous time together.

John and Susan with us in Vermont

Later in the month we were visited by John and Susan Park.

They were on their way to Canada.

Last week I went to Dallas and Plano Texas where on Sunday morning I worshiped and lunched with Allen and Rachel Hill, Ron and Vicki Robertson.

Ron, Vicki, Allen and Rachel at Plano, TX

All this has me reflecting on friendships and mission relationships.  One aspect of our lives in the US is that we can effectively choose our friends.  By friends I mean those folk with whom we share our lives, get close, laugh, cry, pray and whose very friends

hip changes and influences our lives.  On the mission field this is just not the same.  We are a small minority community.  We are thrown together because of our shared calling.  We are told that team conflicts are one of the greatest problems that can afflict missionaries and yet we are called and told to work through these and thus become a new family.  This is all very new to me.

I am not one who shares close friendships easily.  Decades of being “in charge” of parishes has made me leery of getting too close.  I used to laugh at the advice given in seminary about the dangers of trying to make friends in the parish.  After over thirty years I have to say that they were right.  It was partly the fact of inequalities of relationship.  It was partly feeling betrayed by some who sought to “befriend” and whose hidden agenda eventually would emerge.  Some sought to come close and then control either us or things in the parish.  The long-term effect is many relationships that I do very much treasure and people whom I love.  However there are few who would fit my definition above.

On the mission field we are thrown together with folk not of our choosing, but God’s choosing.  Indeed the fellow missionaries might never be those we would “choose.”  The reason being probably having few things in common in our busy US lives.  I count it a privilege to be linked so closely with these folk.  God is so good in bringing us together.  We are the family of God – truly.  HUGE blessing and what a trust.

Happy Independence Day

ADDENDUM

I was in error for missing out our dear brother and sister in Arequipa – Sandy and Gloria Johnston whose presence so enriches us.  I am praying for there to be another missionary couple soon to join you.  Also for more opportunities for gathering.

I also did not mention the large community of missionaries who are up in Lima.  These folk are such a blessing and we are getting to know them more slowly.  We already have found special blessings being in fellowship with Rusty, Sara and Colleen.  They are truly friends of God’s choosing.  God has put them in our path in wonderful ways.

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June 2010 Newsletter

Polly teaching at the Albany Diocesan Convention

Summer 2010

Greetings from Vermont!  Ian and I are using our home in Chester as a base for travels, hospitality, and rest this summer before our return to Lima, Peru, in September.

With Joe and Tina Rhodes, Todd and Patsy McGregor at New Wineskins

We have so much to be thankful for: your partnership with us in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, fellowship with other believers in USA churches, gathering with other SAMS missionaries at various conferences and conventions, and the opportunities for outreach in our daily lives.

On the family front we give thanks for my mother’s contentment and care in a top-notch nursing home in Cleveland, our daughter’s approaching marriage to Sam Sweet on October 30th, and our son Joe’s successful solo exhibit in NYC at the Laurel Gitlen gallery. We thank God for blessing our family as we keep them in our prayers each day.

Ian Preaching at St. Peter's Milford, CT

Our ministry this summer is twofold: encouragement of the brethren and preaching/teaching about God’s work in Peru. As we attend Episcopal and Anglican gatherings, we find ourselves encouraging believers to stand firm in their faith and “glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:26). Using pictures and narrative, we also share about our ministry within the Anglican Church in Peru. Meanwhile, I am gathering Christian Education materials, and Ian is educating people and parishes about a new 501C3 opportunity.

The latter is a new task for Ian. He will be traveling about the USA with Bishop Godfrey describing the work of the Anglican Church in Peru and ways to help develop a well-trained and educated cadre of Peruvian clergy throughout the country. Soon there will be 12 SAMS missionaries in Peru along with 6 English missionaries from various agencies. This is a lot of talent and energy to work toward this goal: creating a vibrant Peruvian Anglican Church run by Peruvians. We covet your prayer and support in this endeavor.

Polly teaching "Praying in Color" in Lima

We return to Lima for nine months this time and will leave after Labor Day. Please continue to pray for us as we minister in Peru and consider visiting us in Lima!

Support and prayer needs:

  • That our house in Wisconsin would sell this summer
  • Financial support for our ministry
  • Katherine and Sam’s wedding in October
  • Ian’s safe travel with Bishop Godfrey around the country
  • Preparations for our return to Lima in September

God’s grace, blessings, love  and peace be with you all –

Polly and Ian

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Changes, Convention (Diocese of Albany) and deputation

Ian Teaching

In March I was asked to take on a new task.  I have said yes.  I am very passionate about the ministry in Peru and am delighted to do all that I can to further this ministry. This task is to use some of my time as the Executive Director of Amigos del Peru.  The time has come for Amigos del Peru to be a 501(c)3 organization, an independent registered charity.  For several years the Diocese of Peru has been working and receiving donations as a part of a parish in Texas.  The Diocese of Peru is now large and complex and depends on North American and English donations  to do the work of the Kingdom in Peru.  People continue to be very generous and we seek to continue these existing relationships and expand them.  http://amigosdelperu.wordpress.com/about/

The 501(c)3 will be based in Texas.  The legal paperwork is progressing.  We have the beginnings of a board and treasurer who has been the auditor in the past.  I am also developing our contacts in the USA.  The plan is to have Bishop Godfrey and (after consecrated) Bishop Chapman make visits to the USA to address people in various strategic geographic groupings.  These visits will develop relationships,  tell the stories about what God is doing in Peru and invite partnerships in mission and ministry.  We want to link people, parishes and dioceses with this exciting work of God.

This coming weekend (June 18-21) Bishop Godfrey and I shall be in Coronado, California to speak of the ministry in Peru.  Next week I shall go on to Dallas Texas where I am meeting with supporters and those setting up our 501(c)3.

Since our return to the USA after Pentecost, Polly and I began a series of parish and diocesan visits.  We attended, preached and shared at the Cathedral in Springfield, MA.  We have visited St. Peter’s in Milford, CT which is one of our supporting congregations.  More visits are planned later this summer to share about our work in Peru and how God is using us.

Ian preaching in Milford, CT

This weekend we attended the Convention of the Diocese of Albany.

Albany convention 2010

The Diocese of Albany Convention is unlike any other that I have ever attended.  It is held as a weekend camp at a resort in the Adirondaks (it rained all the time!)  The whole diocese is invited, not just delegates and clergy.  They hold workshops, worship celebrations, youth rally and VBS for children.  It was a time of renewal, refreshment and being re-invigorated.

Polly and Ian teaching

Polly and I led a workshop on mission in retirement.  I subtitled it “Pensions with a Purpose.”

Shaw and Julie Mudge - missionaries to Peru

Our fellow missionaries Shaw, Julie and Lydia Mudge are from Albany and were there.  So also was Mike Chapman our bishop suffragan elect.  He was formally “sent off.”

Bishop-elect Mike Chapman "sent forth" by Bishops Herzog and Love and Archbishop Gomez

The Convention was a time of joy for Polly and me.  It was a time of reunion, refreshment and inspiration.

Fr. Mike and Ian at prayer ministry

Mike and I were back to our pattern of shared prayer ministry, which is how we met in Peru over two years ago.  It is my fervent hope that we can develop a more formal Peru/Albany connection.  They are sending a youth and adult team of eighteen to Lima for the last two weeks of July this year and Bishop Love will be part of the group.  I am hoping to recruit Fr. Peter Pierson and Bishop Dan Herzog to visit Peru and to teach.  What a joy that would be.  I am also hoping to recruit Bishop Dan to help in Belize.  Peru in the summer is a great alternative to Albany, NY in the winter!

Attending the Convention as its speaker was Archbishop (retired) Drexel Gomez of the Province of the West Indies.

Archbishop Gomez preaching

The Archbishop is one of the architects of the Anglican Communion Covenant and spoke compellingly of its need at this time.  The diocese adopted the Covenant by a vote of about 80% in favor.  The archbishop was an important member of the Windsor Report.

Bishop Love, Bishop Herzog, Archbishop Gomez, Bishop elect Mike

Bishop Love is one of the finest Bishops and Godly leaders that it has been my privilege to meet.  I have seldom seen such pastoral sensitivity and passion.  He is quintessentially orthodox, Biblical, Apostolic and Catholic.  Bishop Herzog is an old friend and one of my “most admired” persons.  It was he who ensured that the clergy coming into the Diocese of Albany would be “orthodox.”  It was he whose vision brought about the creation of Christ the King retreat, camp, conference and healing Center in Greenwich, CT.  I believe it was he who transformed the annual convention from being a normal political gathering to becoming a renewal event for the whole diocese.  Bishop Bill Love and Bishop Dan Herzog have assembled an amazing team of clergy and lay people who are committed to “Disciples Making Disciples.”  This year’s them was “Take  up your Cross and follow me.”

How appropriate!

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Good Friday, Bringing Jesus to people – Awesome!

As I write this, it is Easter Sunday, but I want to share some thoughts about my Good Friday experience in a special shanty town here in Lima. What began as a witness became an occasion for hope and blessing within the community.  Our theme was the death of Christ, and we walked the stations of the Cross.  The effect was to bring hope, healing and the love of God into homes and the community.

It is a part of the Peruvian culture to make our Christian faith very public.  This year’s Good Friday procession along the streets is not unique;  these happen all around Lima, every year.  What is unique is the way this Peruvian Anglican pastor brings Jesus to people and people to Jesus.  Padre Aurelio invited me to participate this year and to record what God was doing.  It was a privilege to do so.   Enjoy the slide show!

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Santa Maria Triunfo is a busy and sprawling area of south Lima.  Buildings are in various stages of construction and style.  The streets are mostly paved but covered in dust.  People, moto-taxis and dogs abound.  Plants, trees and flowers are everywhere in the midst of trash piles and dirt.  In the background newer shanty towns ascend the hills.  It is in this area that Aurelio has been planting mission stations so as to bring the presence of Jesus to these communities.

Each household along the procession route had been carefully chosen and the stations were clearly marked.  At each home there was a table, beautifully decorated with flowers, pictures and statues.  The neighbors – including many dogs – joined in with the devotions and then joined the procession.  Each household shared with us a “cariñeta” – something to drink and  something to eat.  On we would go, singing to the next household.

We followed a man bearing a heavy wooden cross – mahogany by the look of it and so very heavy.  At each station we had a meditation.  We were blessed, along with each household, by liberal sprinklings of holy water.  We prayed and sang.

Whenever we encountered people who needed special prayer we took time to do so.  Aurelio and I entered homes and prayed inside when folk could not come out.  We prayed for healing and blessing.  The privilege of doing this, of being part of these homes, was unbelievably precious to me.  I am a visitor, different and with halting speech.  They welcomed me, embraced me and blessed me with their hospitality.

You may be thinking by now “how Catholic!”

Yes is is.  Peru has been Roman Catholic for hundreds of years now.  It is who they are and where they are.  It is here that we meet them.  What we bring is catholic, evangelical and charismatic.  We share in the use of liturgy and sacraments–they look catholic and are familiar rites.  To this we add a full blooded evangelical commitment to the authority of the Bible, the need for personal conversion and the pursuit of the Gospel  mission of Jesus to all the world.  We are a missionary and Spirit-filled church.  We actively pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit–constantly.  We pray for and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the building up of the Church and for the ministry of the Church.  We believe is signs and wonders.  We pray for healing and give testimony as God works among the people.  We begin with the people where they are, and our witness to the transforming love of Jesus compels us to share the transformation that Jesus offers and brings.

This is all far removed from my “home” spirituality.  It can be in fact discomforting.  I see God in the discomfort.  This Good Friday something died in me and then a hope was born, again, that Jesus is Lord.  That Jesus loves these folk.  Jesus honors this ministry of Aurelio and his parish.  I am in awe.  Today we celebrate JESUS’ resurrection.  Alleluia!  HE is risen, risen indeed, Alleluia!

Easter Sunday update: God came and blessed us at Villa el Salvador. This was our last Sunday with this congregation.  There was a full band to play the worship music.  Edith Varillas preached a barnstorming sermon and afterward about twenty folk came forward for prayer.

I asked the seminarians to pray with folk and they did so very effectively.  We  had one of the most meaningful communion services ever.

When the service was over, we were ready to leave but the whole congregation wanted to pray for our trip to New Wineskins and Vermont.  THEN they held a reception with refreshments.  They were so generous and loving. 

A REQUEST or two.

Polly and I are using the NOOMA series of thought provoking presentations at the Cathedral in Lima.  We will buy the whole series of twenty four and the cost is about $200 – HELP anyone?

One of our shantytown churches needs a guitar and a cajon (Peruvian wooden drum).  I will be happy to carry down a worthwhile guitar but generally these are better purchased down here.

Both these requests can be met through SAMS by designating $$$ for a special project.  Blessings dear ones.

FAMILY NEWS

Polly and I return to the US tomorrow night – the New Wineskins conference and the SAMS gathering is at Ridgecrest, North Carolina.  Polly and I have a workshop on “Jubilee Ministry,”  the mission field and retirement.  Please pray.  Then on to Vermont.  I return to Peru April 26 for four weeks.  Then deputation, family and raising support.  Meanwhile on October 30 our daughter Katherine is getting married in Los Angeles to Sam Sweet, her beloved.  We are thrilled.  Polly will be visiting her mother in Ohio who has had to enter a nursing home and then will visit Kath in LA and start wedding planning.

Thanks dear ones for your spiritual and financial support.  God is using you down here through us.

Faithfully,

Ian and Polly

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Bishops, Canons, Synods and Kingdom Stuff


We are now entering Holy week.  Palm Sunday – Passion Sunday is a day of contrasts – the raucous welcome morphs into cries of “Crucify Him.”  We then spend the week, day by day remembering what and how Jesus has redeemed, saved and rescued us.  We remember the huge cost.  At the end of the week Light will invade the darkness.
Meanwhile the life of the Church goes on.  Relentlessly God calls us to stop for nothing in the proclamation of the Gospel and in shaping us into a gospel people.  Day by day he challenges us here in Peru to grow his Church, to make new disciples.

Mike Chapman - Bishop elect

This weekend we held an extraordinary Synod.  We had expected to elect three assistant, missionary bishops.  In fact we elected only one, subject to Provincial confirmation.  He is Mike Chapman, a dear brother and colleague with whom I have done prayer ministry here in Lima – he prays and I await God’s leading as to how to pray. Heady stuff and God is so present!

Anyway, Mike is the opposite of the kind of Bishop we are used to in the Anglican world.  He is an evangelist pure and simple.  His passion is for the lost.  I pray that his election will be confirmed and once in country and consecrated, he will tour the south central part of Peru and begin to plant and grow churches.  God seemed to show us that no more gringo bishops were needed or wanted.  Our job, and my task, is to develop a crew of trained and dedicated, deeply converted and committed Peruvian leaders.  Out of these will come the next Peruvian bishops.

Bishop Bill Godfrey

Meanwhile Bishop Bill Godfrey publicly celebrated our ministry in Peru and made me a Canon of the Diocese.  Polly is working on the development of a unified curriculum and resources for children’s ministry.

Celebrating and praying for our "New Ministry"

Bishop Bill described me as a sort of “floating” Canon for the diocese.  My task is to help develop clergy and evangelists deeply committed to Jesus, who are equipped and ready to serve as Anglican Christians in this wonderful land.   I am very passionate about this ministry and the task given me.  PLEASE PRAY.

Peru Clergy - Synodo 2010

The Synod is the gathering of all the clergy, lay ministers and lay representatives of the diocese.  In my past experience elsewhere these gatherings  are more political than spiritual.  This synod was a spiritual time of discovering God’s leading and of personal encouragement.  Polly was led to establish a prayer room for intercessors.  She was accompanied by several godly women who prayed up a storm.  What a difference!  As a synod we prayed, sought the will of God, made votes and celebrated and worshiped.  We laughed and we cried.  God held us in his hand, and we knew it.  I believe that God showed us a better way forward.

Bishop of Bolivia, +Frank Lyons

Present at our synod was Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia.  What a great and godly man!  I have known of +Frank’s ministry through SAMS and mutual friends.  We worked together on the vote counting as he was the provincial observer.

We look forward to seeing what God is doing in Peru – JOIN US!

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Padre Blanco – SAMS has a new name – God makes all things new. Shalom

I was struck the other day by a description.  I had called on some friends here in Lima and they were out.  The “Watchiman” told them that someone had called, however he did not know their name.  He described me as “Padre Blanco.”  My mind made several flips.  Blanco was what we used to treat our webbing belts and gaiters with in the “corps” or ROTC when I was in my teens.  Blanco here means white as opposed to a darker skin shade and reflects some of the deep racism that can exist in Peru.  The blancos were those of Spanish descent and thus the elite.  My language tutor tells me that she is discriminated against on occasion, as her skin is dark.  I confess not to understand entirely especially as a foreigner I see Peruvians as a wonderful and good-looking people.  Yes I can see a great variety skin shades.  Heaven forbid I should ever see myself as some part of an elite minority.  Next week I shall be washing feet in Villa el Salvador – one of our largest and oldest shanty town areas.  Jesus is the example – our only option is obediently to follow his example.

SAMS has changed its name.  It is now official and we have a new logo.  I like it.  Some time back , when it was mooted that we would incorporate CMS-USA (Church Missionary Society), the question of name change came up.  Now SAMS oversees missionaries all over the world.  I suggested my own version – SENDING ANGLICAN MISSIONARIES SOMEWHERE.  I was not surprised when they chose another!  So here we are with a wonderful act of God – for that is how I see it.  God has taken this wonderful mission society, which was only formed in the USA in the mid 1970’s, and has grown and transformed its ministry to become worldwide.  God is so good!  I am so grateful for the vision and dedication of those who started this ministry in the US.  They kept it going through some very low times.  They faithfully and obediently grew SAMS-USA.  May God bless our future.  BTW I hope to see many of you at New Wineskins April 8-11.  There you will catch a vision of what God is doing all over the world as well as thru SAMS.

The Cross over Pamplona Alta

Easter is upon us but before Easter comes this most difficult weeks.  Palm Sunday morphs into Passion Sunday and we experience palms of joy turning into betrayal, torture and death.  On Maundy Thursday we celebrate Jesus taking upon himself the nature of a slave as he washes the feet of the disciples.  On Good Friday Jesus going and suffering the death of a slave in the excruciating agony and torture of Roman Crucifixion.  Saturday we will await what comes next.  Will he?  Won’t he?  It is a day of spiritual emptiness.

Then comes Easter.  God, who makes all things new brings us Jesus – resurrected, “He’s Alive.”  We have a sure and certain hope.  Jesus’ bodily resurrection is the victory of God in the reconciliation of the world to himself.  Jesus’ obedient self –

Sacrifice makes real all his claims and all our hopes.  Peter said, “You are the Holy One of God.”  Jesus is.  Because he is so we are made new.  New Creation, Salvation, Rescue and Hope – what a gift!  Come to Jesus, He is the One.

Candy

Lastly – meet Candy who is a wonderful member of the Shalom community.  Deacon Pat Blanchard leads this wonderful ministry to the mentally and physically challenged.  What a blessing to meet her in her pink shirt and dress.  To meet her mother and the community of mothers who receive support, therapy and Gospel encouragement and instruction from Pat and her helpers each day of the week.  Pray for Pat’s new enterprise.  She has bought an old school building and seeks to transform it into a center for ministry, Christian care and love.  She intends to live there in Pamplona Baja among her flock.  I watched Pat lovingly construct with Candy the two tablets of the Ten Commandments from toilet rolls and string.  She then went on to teach informally the mothers gathered about the ten commandments and retold the story of the Prodigal Son.  This is what Anglican ministry in Peru is all about – caring for and bringing the Gospel to the least fortunate in our world, here in Lima, Peru.  This is why it is a privilege to be here, to be sent here and to serve with such gifted and dedicated folk.

Ian and Pat at Shalom House

Ian, Candy and Pat - Los Diez Mandamientos

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Singing a new song and teaching the word.

Ian with Daniel working on Samba rhythms

I sat, thrilled and delighted, playing with Daniel before our Shrove Tuesday supper.  He was teaching me samba rhythms.  While singing and playing we were approached by Nori who plays charango.  We decided to work on an Easter musical offering.  God is so good. In St. Augustine’s words, “To sing is to pray twice,” so we were really praying and in a foreign tongue.

Villa el Salvador - cajón y gitarras

One of my great joys in Peru is the fact that most churches sing with vigor, vitality and in such a way as to energize the angels.   Only our cathedral has an organ.  It is electric, in our climate a pipe organ cannot survive.  So the universal instrument is the guitar, with the accompaniment of the cajón or drums.  The Peruvian cajón is a wooden box with a big circular hole in the back and the large surface is drummed  with the hands.  The sound is solid and hollow-ish

Villa el Salvador - tambor, tamborine, guitars and drum

Since these instrument are plentiful and modestly priced it means that Peruvian young people are able to participate and learn.  The huge patience that I see in the Peruvian relationship with the young is in evidence here.  The musicians are often young and the groups include children where possible.  Youth ministry is often focused around singing and worship.

+Bill G

I cannot resist a picture of our singing bishop.  Bishop Bill Godfrey is handy on the guitar.  I remember two years ago during a service for the clergy, while communion was being administered, he sat down, played and sang for us a deeply spiritual, though simple song of devotion.

Worship at San Andres

Meanwhile this Lent, God has given me an opportunity to teach a Lenten series at the Cathedral.  I felt led to focus on the three missionary trips of St. Paul.  The subject lends itself to our current age.  I am convinced that the Apostolic Age confronted much that is so similar to our present “post-Christian” world.  We compete with other religions and beliefs and so must be able to reason, gently and with respect, with those of other beliefs.  We need to have a firm grasp of what we believe and the essential Christian message – the Gospel.  We need a thorough grounding in the Bible, being ourselves both formed by it and being Biblically literate.  We need to know the “power of the resurrection” and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We need to be open to the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, to heal, to expel the demonic and to transform individuals, communities and society.  We need to know how to bring Jesus to people and people to Jesus.  What better book to study than the Acts of the Apostles!  What better teacher after Jesus than St. Paul on his missionary trips as he opened up the Gentile world of the Roman Empire.  With St. Paul we pray “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection.” Philippians 3:10 (ESV)

Lent teaching at the Cathedral. Lima

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