I will be catching up on my blogging this week. A lot was going on last week and I was unable to post, but we have plenty photograph. The Panama Project is here and I spent all of last week working with Canon Walter Smith and our participants. The Panama Project is a program of the Seminaries of the Episcopal Church in which seminarians come to Panama for three weeks or so for a full-immersion lesson on Anglicanism in Central America in a Panamanian context. I participated in the Project muchos años pasado, when dinosaurs walked the earth, around 1998, I believe, and that's one of the reasons I am a missionary here. Other past participants who were missionaries in Panamá are the Rev. Seth Polley and the Rev. Becky Michelfelder. We spend the first week orientating the participants, telling them the history of Panamá and the history of the Anglican/Episcopal Church in Panamá. We tour the three cities of Panamá City and some churches. Then we send the participants off to their Field Sites. I was in Santiago de Veraguas with just a Spanish-English dictionary and my guitar. I'll tell ya allabout it some time. This year's participants are serving in the city of Colón, on the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal. We'll get back to them during the week.
On Wednesday we had a special Eucharist for the teachers of the Episcopal Schools. It was held at el Catedral de San Lucas en Balboa, in the Former Canal Zone. The teachers from our school in Colón were unable to attend, but the place was packed. Diocesan clergy who serve as chaplains and teachers at the schools also participated. I was in the band. We (the band) had an interesting situation: no one made arrangements to have the drums from Parroquia San Cristóbal transported to the Cathedral. I was working with the Panama Project so I didn't do it and neither did Bernie. Well, when I arrived at the Cathedral, Padre Luís was on his celular, trying to make arrangements. Mr. Hudson, our Sexton and drum roadie, had everything ready. I guess some folks from Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal finally got a bus and brought the kit over. Well, not the entire kit, just the drums. Mr. Hudson told me later that he asked them if they were going to take the entire kit, but they said they didn't know so they only took the drums, no cymbals. This created quite a challenge for our drummer, who, being the creative man he is, managed to use a tambourine for a high-hat. Being the seasoned professionals we are, it worked.
After the Eucharist, we had a lovely brunch in the Bishop Herber Gooden Center. The Lovely Mona, being a teacher at Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal, took many photos of her colleagues, and we present them now for your approval.
Walter Smith y el Obispo
We sang "Seek Ye First" for the Gradual. Well, actually, we sang "Busca Primera la Reina de Dios." But we didn't sing the "Aleluyas." I asked Bernie why we didn't sing them and he said "They didn't print it in the bulletin." So Bishop Murray decided to lead us all in singing the Aleluyas in a canon.
Bishop Murray preaching
The Panama Project listens intently
Las Directoras de las Escuelas con los dones (The directors of the schools with the gifts)
And the band plays and plays and plays
Brunch, or as we call these occasions, the Repast. We had a fruit cup, chicken wings, ham and cheese sammich, a pastry, and coffee, tea, and chicha. Very nice! Beautiful people having a good time!
Tía Sue and Panama Project participant Phyliss