We had a somewhat busy weekend, with activities every day. The Lovely Mona was very busy with the camera, and I even managed to take a few shots. This post tiene muchos fótos
November is the month of Patriotic holidays in Panamá, with celebrations of the separation from Colombia and independence from Spain and all manner of other holidays of patriotic interest. Friday evening San Cristóbal celebrated a Festival Patriótico as a fund raiser for the parish. It was very well attended. We had a program featuring folkloric dancing. Profesora Priscilla McQueen served as M.C. We had dancers from Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal (our school), the Anglican Folkloric Dancing Group (featuring two priests: Padre Nelson Edwards and Padre José Moreno and their spouses, and including several members of St. Christopher's: Xiomara Frances, Patsy Pusey, and Christopher Greaves), as well as a group from El Hospital de Niños (featuring our own Tania Weeks de Cole). All the dancers were amazing.
The Band! Sean Murray, son of Bishop and Anna Murray, with tambour, talking to Profesora McQueen
The program was followed with Comida Típica in the Parish Hall. We had arroz con pollo, lomo, pollo, ensalada de papas, tamalitos y empanaditas, platino de tentación, and a salad of beets and onions. Plus cake for dessert! Everyone had a wonderful time!
Saturday morning we had a ritiro for the students who would be having their First Communion on Sunday. We had prayers, a reflection by Padre Cáceres, and practiced the hymns for Sunday, accompanied by Padre Mickey on guitar. Then we rehearsed the important choreography necessary for the Procession and for Communion. Then the kids went downstairs to the Parish Hall for a Brunch.
The Lovely Mona and I were at St. Simon's in Gamboa in the evening, as I am Assisting Clergy there and Padre Edwards was with the Dance Troupe (see Friday) for a big program. We love St. Simon's; it was the first church at which I served when we came to Panamá. They've been doing a lot of work on the building, and it's looking great!
The organ decided to misbehave during the english-language service. During the Gloria I noticed this high note which played through the entire song, like a drone. During the readings our organist, Profesor Reynaldo Taylor was trying to communicate with me via sign language. He wanted to use the electric keyboard, since he couldn't get that high g to stop. We couldn't find the power supply for the keyboard, which held up the Gospel Procession as I was in the office looking for it. We sang the Gradual a capella and we lived to tell the tale (St. Christopher's is a singing church and we have no problem singing a capella). Profesor Taylor used the little electric keyboard for the rest of the service, which sounded great as he was doing piano rather than organ.
After the service the Altar Guild had a Bake Sale to raise money for all the fresh fruit and vegetables they will use to decorate the church next Sunday for Harvest Thanksgiving. They had lots of yummy stuff for sale: Marie Clark's famous meat pie, yucca pone, the Lovely Mona's pumpkin bread, empanadas, rum cake, and everyone's favorite: cod fish cek.
Fifty-five young persons had their First Communion at la Misa en Español. The church was packed; there were even people outside, looking in through the windows! Music was provided by our combo: Bernie on organ, Marcos on drums, Padre on Bass, and the Lovely Mona on flute. Bernie came early to figure out what the heck was going on with the organ. He discovered that the high g key on the upper manual was stuck, so he used the lower manual, except when we played songs in the keys of G or D; then he used the upper manual 'cuz it sounded cool to have that g through the entire song! Carmen and Hillary shared duties on la gloria. It was crowded during Communion with all the relatives and their cameras! During the announcements, the students all received certificados and posed for even more photos. There was a brunch after the service, with cake and souvenirs and stuff. Another wonderful Sunday at San Cristóbal!