Monday, November 06, 2006

Sunday at the Church with Mickey

This post contains sporadic outbursts of Spainglish.

I am the Rector of St. Christopher’s Church in the Parque Lefevre/Río Abajo neighborhood of Panama City. We have two services every Sunday morning: a Choral Eucharist in English at 7:30 a.m. (the main service of the day) and la Santa Eucaristía a las 10:30 a.m. The first service is an interesting mixture of liturgical styles, with “smells and bells” and an eclectic mix of music from many different hymnals from different Christian traditions. We also have a drummer, one of the best in Panamá. La Misa a las 10:30 is more of a “low church” service. We have a tight combo playing the music: Prof. Bernardo Murray on organ and keyboard, Mr. Ricardo Staples on drums (yeah, he’s the 7:30 drummer, también) and yours truly on bass guitar. Yesterday was an interesting day because we had a baptism at the 7:30 service. It was the first baptism I have done in English in a long time! Due to the national holidays, I wasn’t really expecting many folks en la Misa de 10:30, but we had a great turn out, due to the second baptism of the day. Our assisting priest was away in Los Santos with the family, so I was celebrant, preacher, and bass player, which kept me quite busy (I was only celebrant and preacher at the first service). I also find functioning in two languages to be exhausting, so I was pretty beat when we got home. I had lunch, a short nap, and then back to the school connected to the parish, Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal, to the Bishop Clarence Hayes Gymnatorium (now, that’s a name!) for the ECW program, “Cumpliaños de Amores” (Birthdays of Love). We all sat at tables by our birth months. There was a nice program with presentations and some great gospel singers, and four women were honoured for their contributions to the ministry of the ECW of San Cristóbal. Then the birthday parties started. The members of the ECW went to each table (starting with January, of course!) and sang a song to the people there. By then I had moved up to play bass with the band. Then we had food and cake and chicha and great fellowship. It was a wonderful way to end a Sunday. ¡Qué Bonita!


susan s. hedges said...

Birthday party, eh? sounds like a great way to celebrate All Saints!

Anonymous said...

I know that Ricardo played with the late, legendary Victor Boa in the 1980s. I was wondering, not knowing how old Ricardo is, if he played with Victor Boa Y Su Musica in the late 1960s. I am afraid that, with the exception of Ruben Blades (who I actually don't enjoy very much) I know little Panamanian music less than 40 years old. I am certainly no fan of reggaeton.
Do ask your friend. if nothing else he will pleased to know people listen to his music all over the world - in fact, I was reading an article on Panamanian soul music on a New Zealand site recently that mentioned Victor Boa.

Luiz Coelho said...

Sounds fun, Padre!

God bless you ministry in Panama.

Your blog is cross-linked already. Let's shake the "Global Center" blogosphere.


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