Sunday, November 30, 2008

From Caminante and Fran. . .

I've seen this list on Fran and Caminantes' blogs, and decided to play along.
The things I have done are in bold. Why haven't I slept on an overnight train yet?

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (thank God not yet)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language (What does this question mean? A "new" language? Esperanto?)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie I WAS in a Rock Video; does that count?
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby I've fathered two babies, but I didn't have them
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

The Feast of St. Andrew, Προτοκλετος

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, which is the Sunday closest to St. Andrew's Day!

Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by your holy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us into his gracious presence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

As is usually the case with first century saints and especially with the Apostles, we don’t know much about Andrew. There are twelve passages in the New Testament which mention Andrew’s name. The passages from the synoptic gospels are two about Jesus calling Andrew and his brother Simon Peter, three which are what we may call the List of the Twelve, one which mentions Jesus entering Andrew and Peter’s home (to heal Peter’s mother-in-law so that she could make lunch), and one passage in which Andrew is with a few members of the Twelve who ask Jesus about the eschaton. But the Gospel of John contains four references to Andrew,and he plays a different role than that in the synoptics. He is the first person Jesus called to follow him; there is a reference to the city of Bethsaida being the city of Andrew and Peter; Andrew brings the little boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus at that famous lunch, and Andrew also serves as an intermediary between Jesus and some Greeks who asked Philip to let them see Jesus to ask him some questions. The final biblical reference to Andrew is in the Acts of the Apostles where he is listed as one of those in the Upper Room. Eusebius’ only refers to Andrew as being assigned the area of Scythia for his missionary work. I read the Acts of Andrew, which is a book which was denounced by the Church Fathers (and by Eusebius), but tells some wild stories about Andrew. I’ve used some stories from the Acts of Andrew for this post, especially the description of Andrew’s martyrdom.

As I stated in the paragraph above, the Gospel of John claims that Andrew was at first a disciple of John the Baptizer. When John the Baptizer pointed out Jesus as the Christ, Andrew and another of John’s followers both became His disciples. Andrew took his brother, Simon, later to be called Peter, to meet Jesus. He is called the Protokletos (the First Called) in the Orthodox Church because he was the first Apostle to be summoned by Jesus into His service. In the accounts in the synoptic gospels, Andrew and his brother Peter made their living as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee and both dropped their nets and followed Jesus when he called them. Both men became Apostles, and while Peter, who was martyred in Rome, symbolically came to represent the Church of the West, Andrew, whose relics were transferred to Constantinople,likewise came to represent the Church of the East.

According to the traditions of the Church of the East, Andrew began his missionary activity in the Provinces of Bithynia and Pontus on the southern shores of the Black Sea. He then to the city of Byzantium and founded a church there, ordaining the first Bishop of Byzantium, Stachys, who was one of the 70 disciples Jesus sent out to heal the sick and proclaim the Good News. The Apostles began their missionary work after Pentecost. Andrew went to several cities and countries to teach, including Byzantium, Thrace, Russia, Epiros, and Peloponnese. In Amisos, he converted the Jews in the temple, baptized them, healed their sick, built a church, and left a priest for them (I don’t know if he was a priest who had been traveling with Andrew or a local person. Historically, there weren’t any priests in the Church yet). In Bithynia, he taught, healed their sick,and drove away the wild beasts that bothered the people. His prayers destroyed the pagan temples, and those who resisted his words became possessed and gnawed at their bodies until Andrew healed them. Many of the stories about Andrew seem to deal with demon possession. According to the Acts of Andrew, he visited the City of Patras during one of his several missionary journeys to Greece. Through his preaching and the miracles of healing he performed in the name of Jesus, many persons were converted to Christianity. Among those healed was Maximilla, the wife of the Roman Proconsul, Aegeates. Seeing this miracle of healing, Stratoklis, the highly intellectual brother of the Proconsul, also became a Christian, and Andrew consecrated and enthroned him as the first Bishop of Patras. As a prophet, he foretold of the greatness of Kiev as a city and a stronghold of Christianity. In Sinope, he prayed for the imprisoned Apostle Matthias, and his chains fell from him and the cell door opened. This angered the people and they beat Andrew, breaking his teeth, cutting his fingers, and left him for dead in a dung heap. While Andrew was lying in the dung heap Jesus appeared to him and healed him, telling him to be of good cheer. The next day, when the people saw him up and around with all his teeth and fingers, they were amazed and they converted. Another time, he raised a woman's only son from the dead. All this activity made the people of Patras and Sinope and Kiev love him, but it did not endear him to those in power, of course. According to the Acts of Andrew, the conversions to the Christian Faith by members of his own family infuriated the Proconsul Aegeates, and he decided, with the urging of his pagan advisors, to crucify Andrew. The crucifixion was carried out on an X-shaped cross with the body of the Apostle upside down so that he saw neither the earth nor his executioners, but only the sky, which he “glorified as the heaven in which he would meet his Lord.” Aegeates had him tied to the cross in this manner so that he would live longer and suffer more. According to the account in the Acts of Andrew, the Apostle went to the cross “and spake unto it as unto a living creature, with a loud voice (and in Elizabethan english!):”Hail, O cross, yea be glad indeed! Well know I that thou shalt henceforth be at rest, thou that hast for a long time been wearied, being set up and awaiting me. I come unto thee whom I know to belong to me. I come unto thee that hast yearned after me. I know thy mystery, for the which thou art set up: for thou art planted in the world to establish the things that are unstable: and the one part of thee stretcheth up toward heaven that thou mayest signify the heavenly word: and another part of thee is spread out to the right hand and the left that it may put to flight the envious and adverse power of the evil one, and gather into one the things that are scattered abroad: And another part of thee is planted in the earth, and securely set in the depth, that thou mayest join the things that are in the earth and that are under the earth unto the heavenly things. O cross, device of the salvation of the Most High! O cross, trophy of the victory of Christ over the enemies! O cross, planted upon the earth and having thy fruit in the heavens! O name of the cross, filled with all things. Well done, O cross, that hast bound down the circumference of the world! Well done, O shape of understanding that hast shaped the shapeless! Well done, O unseen chastisement that sorely chastisest the substance of the knowledge that hath many gods, and drivest out from among mankind him that devised it! Well done, thou that didst clothe thyself with the Lord, and didst bear the thief as a fruit, and didst call the apostle to repentance, and didst not refuse to accept us! But how long delay I, speaking thus, and embrace not the cross, that by the cross I may be made alive, and by the cross win the common death of all and depart out of life? Come hither ye ministers of joy unto me, ye servants of Aegeates: accomplish the desire of us both, and bind the lamb unto the wood of suffering, the man unto the maker, the soul unto the Saviour.

Twenty thousand of the faithful stood by and mourned. Even then, Andrew taught them and exhorted them to endure temporary sufferings for the kingdom of heaven. Out of fear of the people, Aegeates came to remove Andrew from the cross. Andrew, however, told Aegeates that there was still a chance for Aegeates to become a Christian, but that he (Andrew) had already seen Jesus waiting for him and he would not allow himself to be removed from the cross. Many tried to undo the knots, but their hands all became numb. Suddenly, a heavenly light illumined Andrew for about a half hour. When it left, Andrew had given up his spirit. His body was tenderly removed from the cross by Bishop Stratoklis and Maximilla, and buried with all of the honor befitting the Apostle. Soon countless numbers of Christians made their way to Patras to pay reverence to the grave of Andrew, and when Aegeates realized that the man he had put to death was truly a holy man of God a demon fell upon him and tormented him so powerfully that he committed suicide (In many of these non-canonical books, the one who had someone martyred would commit suicide or explode or fall dead for no reason, as a way of avenging the death of the martyr).

The actual historical record tells us that in the month of March in the year 357 the Emperor Constantine (son of Constantine The Great) ordered that the body of Saint Andrew be removed from Patras and be reinterred in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. This was a church built by Constantine the Great, and he had wanted to have the relics or remains of all twelve apostles interred in this church along with his own body. This is because the Christians of that era believed that there was great spiritual power contained in the bones of the Apostles and other martyrs, and to have the relic of an apostle or martyr in the altar made the church a center of great spiritual power. St. Andrew’s bones were returned to the very city which had first heard the Good News from Andrew’s own lips, and with all the pomp and honor and liturgical magnificence of the Byzantine Empire, they were laid in the Great Church of Christ at Constantinople. There is a tradition that some of his relics were taken to Scotland. The skull of Andrew was kept in Patras until the year 1460 when Thomas Paleologos, the last ruler of the Morea, brought the skull to Rome. In 1967, under the orders of Pope Paul, the skull was returned to Patras. He is the Patron Saint of Fishermen and the Patron Saint of Russia, Scotland, and Romania. So, today let us remember and celebrate the ministry and example of Saint Andrew, who continues to call on all Christians to tell others just what he told his brother Simon Peter: “We have found the Messiah!”

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank And Gallito Mescalito Blogging: Thanksgiving Edition

Last week Red Mr. Peanut Bank promised to tell Padre Mickey's twisted, totally warped enlightened version of the Myth of the First Thanksgiving. As we would never want a toy bank to go back on Padre's its word, we now present Padre Mickey's Dance Party's Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging Players in The First Thanksgiving

Narrator Once upon a time, several centuries ago, there was a group living in England, who, having been driven insane by the more fringe elements of the Protestant Reformation, decided that everyone in England must believe as did they, be as pure as were they, and be just as grumpy. They were known as Puritans The majority of Believers in England disagreed, and made life even more miserable for these folks, until they finally left England for the Netherlands, where, soon tiring of a diet of chocolate, edam, and tulips, they made their way to The New World to make life miserable for Padre Mickey's relatives. Europe's favorite population decimator, small pox, had already cleared the way for the Pilgrims (as they were now called) so that there was plenty of room! Landing in an area they named Plymouth, after the place from which they had been evicted, their leader gave thanks to God. . .

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices, that we have arrived safely in this heathen, yet almost empty land, where we are free to worship God in our own manner, and may make sure that everyone else worships God in our own manner, too!
Other Pilgrims Amen!

Narrator The Pilgrims soon met the indigenous inhabitants of the land. . .

Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Hey dere, peoples wut don' look nuffin' like us! Watcha up to?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank We are the Pilgrims, and we have come to this nearly empty land to live in peace and worship our God in our own manner. We are trying to plant our crops. And what is your name, almost naked guy? And why are you wearing that feather?
Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy My name is Tisquantum, but you kin' call me Squanto. An' I weahs a feddah cuz it looks much coolah dan dat ting on toppa yer head! Uhm, ya know, dem seeds won't grow in dis climate.

Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love And how did you learn our tongue? Hast the Holy Spirit descended upon you to give you this gift? I doubt it, you being such a heathen savage!
Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy No, no Espíritu Santo. Sum sumbich white guy captured me and my friends Manida, Skidwarres, Nahanada and Assacumet a while back n' dragged us kickin' an screamin' in a big nasty boat to your pitiful island and taught us yer funny langige. But, like I sed, dem seeds won't grow in dis climate. . .
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Sir, these are the seeds our God commanded us to bring and plant!
Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Well, dat's too bad 'cuz dey ain't gunna woik heah. Hey! Massasoit! Go grab some maize and some fish. Let's show dese rubes howta do it, or dey gonna starve and be botherin' us all wintah for food!

Narrator And so Squanto and Massasoit and their people taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn and squash and pole beans and which nuts were safe to eat. . .

Mighty Moose of Vermont See, you dig a little hole,put a dead fishy in it, place a kernel of maize on top of the dead fishy, then cover it all up; make a little hill. Then move over about eight inches and do it again.
¡El Penguino! 'sup with the dead fishy?
Mighty Moose of Vermont It fertilizes the maize so you get a nice, big, healthy plant. And it's not as nasty as that manure your people use!
¡El Penguino! Heh! You savage! Poop is great!
Mighty Moose of Vermont Yeah. Sure. So, why aren't you wearing a hat with a buckle on it?
¡El Penguino! I AM wearing one. It's just so tiny you can't see it with your heathen eyes.
Mighty Moose of Vermont Oh-kay. So, dig another hole, take a dead fishy. . .

Narrator Eventually, the song of Harvest Home was raised, all was safely gathered in, ere the winter storms began, and the Pilgrims decided to thank the Lord of the Harvest with a feast. . .

Fuzzy Southern Mountain Moose An weyul invaht Squanto an' hiyus friens', too, as theyah wuah SUCH a biyguh haylp!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank That's a great idea. What will be the main course? We don't have any cattle for roast beef, and they eat venison all the time.
Gallito Mescalito Shrie--cough, cough--er, gobble gobble!
Fuzzy Southern Mountain Moose Hmm, thayut maht be reyul good!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Er, how about pumpkin soup in the pumpkin? That could be Very Elegant!

¡El Toro! Yoohoo! Mr. Pavo!
Crocagator Heh Heh Heh Thanksgiving dinner.

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, we're gathered together to ask the Lord's blessing, you at your table and we at ours, as we really can't be mixing with the likes of you. You know, He, the Lord, hastens and chastens, His will to make known!
Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Really! Well, ya know, we gots a little diff'rint teolugie an' understandin' of da Great Spirit! Ya see, WE believes dat. . .
Red Mr. Peanut Bank No one wants to hear your heathen ideas! We came here to worship God in OUR OWN MANNER, and we expect everyone else to worship God in our own manner, too! Now eat your pumpkin soup!

Narrator' And everyone gave thanks to God, with heart and hands and voices, and ate and had a wonderful time.

Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Well, dat was great! burb See ya next yeah!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Don't count on it!

Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love What hath the Lord in store next for the Pilgrims in His Divine Plan?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, we survived our first year and survived dinner with the Heathen Savages. Now it's time to get to work! Time to start taking their land and pushing their sorry heathen bottoms West until they can go West no further!

Gallito Mescalito Gobble Gobble!, er, ¡¡Shrrriiieeekk!!

Friday Random Top Ten

Ya pushes "shuffle" and ya takes yer chances. . .
And today ya also goes on a Tijuana Picnic with the Colonel (and I gots no idea what Tijuana has to do with the people in that picture). . .

1. Top Of The World Shonen Knife
2. The Candy Man Black Majesty
3. Diddley Daddy Bo Diddley
4. Your Ya Ya Is Gone The Tren-Teens
5. Eclipse Pink Floyd
6. Romeo's Seance Elvis Costello & the Brodsky Quartet
7. Time Of The Season The Zombies
8. I Can't Control Myself ¡¡RAMONES!!
9. Little Cream Soda The White Stripes
10. 'Round The World A Cruel Hoax

Ya know, that opening song is the best song on that Carpenter's Tribute thang. I loves me the Shonen Knife girls. The second number is from one of the many Combos Nacionales, the Panamanian Calypso bands from the 50's through the 70's. Bo Diddley is followed by the Tren-Teens, a perfect transition (too bad there's no video to that song). Eclipse is so out of context here; thank God it's short, and Elvis and the Brodskys is a little weird with this list, too. But the Zombies, well, I'm always ready to hear the Zombies! And we go for the big rave-up ending with the Ramones, White Stripes, and A Cruel Hoax, the last band with which I played, many years ago, before my current gig with El Gran Combo de San Cristóbal!

Turkey's in the oven, house is getting clean, think I'll have lunch.
Happy Friday, evrabuddy!

Feast of Kamehameha and Emma

O Sovereign God, who raised up King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma to be rulers in Hawaii, and inspired and enabled them to be diligent in good works for the welfare of their people and the good of your Church: Receive our thanks for their witness to the Gospel; and grant that we, with them, may attain to the crown of glory that never fades away; through Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

I'm not big on Royal Saints, but these two were different than most.

The government of the archipelago of Hawai'i was originally a group of small chiefdoms on the various islands. From the years 1795 to 1810 the chiefdoms were brought under a single authority by the warrior chief Kamehameha, with the help of British sailors John Young and Alexander Adams and their western weapons. A constitutional monarchy much like that of the United Kingdom was formed. Alexander Liholiho 'Iolani was the nephew of King Kamehameha III, and was adopted by him and named his heir. Alexander and his brother, Lot, were educated by Anglican missionaries at the Royal School in Honolulu. King Kamehameha III believed that the boys' education would benefit from extensive travel, so in 1849 they sailed for California with their guardian. After California, they came here to Panama, before moving on to Jamaica, New York, and Washington D.C. and then to England and Europe. In 1855, Alexander, as King Kamehameha IV assumed the throne with his Queen Consort, Emma. Emma was the granddaughter of John Young, the British sailor who helped establish the Kingdom of Hawai'i, and she was also the great grandniece of King Kamehameha I. Kamehameha IV was only twenty years old when he assumed the throne.

Past kings and queens of Hawai'i had ruled with pomp and power, but Kamehameha and Emma were different. The year before Alexander's coronation, Hawai'i had been hit with an epidemic of smallpox. King Kamehameha and Emma went about Hawai'i with notebooks taking down information and soliciting funds to build a hospital. Queen's Hospital, named for Emma, is the largest civilian hospital in the islands. In 1860, Kamehameha and Emma petitioned the Bishop of Oxford to send missionaries to establish the Anglican Church in Hawai'i. Bishop Thomas N. Staley and two priests arrived in Hawai'i on October 11, 1862, and a month later Kamehameha and Emma were confirmed. Kamehameha translated the Book of Common Prayer into Hawaiian and also translated quite a bit of the hymnal. The Royal Family's life was marred by the death of their only child, Albert, at the age of four. Kamehameha blamed himself for the child's death and was overcome with sadness. Kamehameha died only a year later, of chronic asthma, at the age of 29 years. Emma declined to rule and committed her life to good works. She worked for the poor and the sick, and built hospitals and schools throughout the kingdom. Kamehameha and Emma worked for their people and also established the Anglican faith in their country, and that is why we celebrate them as saints today.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


A Peek. . .

. . .backstage at Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging.

They live in Panama, so no holiday today, just rehearsal!

Happy Thanksgiving To All!

Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate this estadoünidense holiday. Our extended family will visit la Rectoría mañana, as the Lovely Mona has class today and won't be home until almost 6:30 pm, which is a bit late, in my book. So no turkey for Padre today.

It's been a tough year, and some beloved faces will be missing from the table this year, but we give thanks for all of them and for all the blessings we've experienced this year. And we give thanks for all of you who read this silly blog and are part of our on-line community.

And now, my Favorite Thanksgiving Day Message:

"You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now, my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the roadsides. You will play golf and enjoy hot hors d'oeuvres. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They have said, "Do not trust the pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller. And for all these reasons, I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground."
Wednesday Addams in Addams' Family Values

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Get Me The Smelling Salts!

I must say that the deterioration of the English language on the air waves is causing me some distress! I remember when one would listen to NPR and PBS, and even NBC, CBS, and ABC (well, not always on ABC, and I've never really watched FOX) and one would hear cogent, logical, articulate discussions with proper grammar, coherent sentences, and a decent vocabulary. This afternoon I was listening to the live feed of The News Hour on KQED-FM (The San Francisco NPR radio station) and heard a person being interviewed about the current economic crisis. The man said, "they were totally untransparent about what was going on." Now, I don't think untransparent is a word in English; I think the proper word is opaque.

I watched the YouTube video of Gov. Sarah Palin being interviewed while turkeys are being slaughtered in the background, and, while it is a bit unpleasant to see turkey's heads being placed in a metal funnel and then decapitated, I found listening to her even more unpleasant. She made no sense at all but she just kept talking and talking and talking. It reminded me of this statement she made at the Republican Governors Conference a few weeks ago, in which she was making a statement about God know's what the crisis in Dafur: "My concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska’s investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars."

I would like to know to what you, Gentle Reader, attribute this deterioration of the English language in public discourse. Is it due to the general dumbing-down of estadoünidense culture (or what passes for culture), or to the anti-intellectualism of the Republican Party over the past eight years?

Please share you opinions in the Comments section!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Ayer en las Parroquias San Cristóbal y San Pablo

Boy, yesterday was A BIG DAY! We celebrated "Harvest Thanksgiving" (as it has been called at this church long before I arrived), even though our harvests in Panamá tend to be year-round. We had a single, bilingual service. As posted Saturday, the Altar Guild had decorated with fresh fruit and vegetables. Lisa, a member of the Coro de Jóvenes (whom you may recognise from last Sunday's post as she had her First Communion), led the congregation in the Gloria Típico. Mr. Thomas, who is our retired organist and presently our Director of Music and Liturgy, came out of retirement and served as organist, and Ricardo Staple has returned from his month-long trip to the U.S.A., so we had great music (I played guitar on the Gloria Típico). El Revdo. Canonigo Luis Cáceres, our Assistant Rector, preached and did a wonderful job, as always. The parish has a Thanksgiving tradition in which children of the parish bring up baskets and cornucopias of fruit to the altar during the Presentation of the Gifts. There was so much stuff around the altar that it was a bit difficult when I censed the altar (we is a smells and bells church). Mrs. Eva Roberson from the U.S.A. sang two lovely pieces as part of our celebration. Here are some photos:

Mr. Thomas at the organ

The Procession

Lisa sings the Gloria

Ricardo Staple

Padre Cáceres preaching

El Coro

Presentation of the Gifts

Padre smokin' the place up agin'

Ms. Eva Roberson

After the service, we all went across the street to the patio at Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal, where we held our Thanksgiving luncheon. The youth choir sang "Dona Nobis Pacem." but we don't have any photos of that as both the Lovely Mona and I were helping the choir. We had lots of good food: coco-rice with peas; yellow rice; carrots and chayote; ham; chicken; turkey; plantano; salad; even some of that cranberry jelly stuff. We all ate our full and had a great time.

The photos:

Lisa and her mom

Hillary and Daniel

Now, normally, this would be enough for me, but I received a telephone call from the Bishop's office on Friday, asking me to represent the Bishop at a function that would take place in the Bishop Hayes Gymnatorium at IESC on Sunday afternoon. La Parroquia San Pablo (St. Paul's parish) held their Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon and Fashion Show, for which the theme was Depicting Women of the Bible. My job as the Bishop's representative was to give the benediction at the end of the program. My good friend and the man I work with in the Theological Education department and person with whom I share duties for the Panama Project, Canon Walter Smith, gave the Invocation. Then lunch was served. Now, since I had just had my lunch, I watched everyone else eat, which is always entertaining. About an hour later the program began. Some young girls, the Praise Dancers from Instituto Bilingüe de San Juan Bautista danced to some hip-hop gospel en español. They were followed by Ms. Omaira de Prescott, who sang two inspirational gospel songs. Then we met some of the women from the Old Testament. My favorite part was when "the Servant who had served Abraham the longest" met Rebecca at the well (in Panamá, by the looks of the flag in the background). I had wondered where Walter had gone, but there he was, up on the stage, wearing a sheet. He also sang "Go Down, Moses" when Miriam, Sister of Moses, was portrayed. After the Women of the Old Testament portion of the show, the Praise Dancers returned, dancing in cheerleader outfits, complete with mylar pom-poms. Some dancers from a Methodist Church Youth Group also did a kinda Michael Jacksony kinda dance. Ms. Prescott sang two more numbers. Then, this being a program in the Diocese of Panamá. we had a tómbola, in which numbers from ticket stubs are drawn for Door Prizes (it is not a successful event in the Diocese of Panamá if there is no tómbola!). After the tómbola, Mrs. Daisy Scantlebury, who pretty much put the program together, gave some certificates to honor a few women of San Pablo. This was followed by the portrayal of Women of the New Testament. I'm not posting all those photos as those New Testament women moved across the stage quickly and rarely faced the crowd, so it was difficult to take photos of them. The Blessed Virgin Mary was portrayed last, and she walked from the stage to the back of the hall to the strains of Ave Maria. Then she walked back to the stage, followed by the women of the Old and New Testaments, who gathered together on the stage to receive our applause. After some words of thanks, I finally did my bit. What a day!!!

Some photos:

The Praise Dancers

Omaira de Prescott

Walter Smith acts and sings! (with Aurelia Burgess)

Rahab and the Spies!

Orpah, Naomi, and Ruth

Queen Esther

Praise Dancers return!

Dancers from the Methodist Youth Group

Mrs. Daisy Scantlebury presenting a certificate

¡El Tómbola!

Mary Magdala

Following the BVM

The Women of the Bible

I See You!

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