Dean’s Blog – May 2018
Change of Speakers: Sunday 13th May 2018
Our Living Room Dialogue speaker had to pull out at rather short notice but a few days before I had had an email from Dr Monika Nagel, who attends worship at the Anglican Cathedral in Perth, Western Australia who was keen to connect with the community here. I invited her to the St Christopher’s Day Dinner and at short notice she was willing to speak at the Living Room Dialogue and then later to the Monday Women’s homegroup and on both occasions provoked lively conversation and debate. She has an academic background in education and organizational psychology, is trained in Carl Rogers’ client-centred counseling theory but as well as teaching has worked in administration in the car industry, designing and dress-making. She has written a book Fatal Cocktails where she explores her interest in social behavior and the decline in peoples’ values.
Royal Wedding: Saturday 19th May 2018
Like many we sat down to watch the Royal wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle and was really delighted by it: the use Common Worship a first for a Royal Wedding, the conscious mix of people involved in the service, the wonderful traditional choral music balanced by a great gospel choir and a terrific address from Bishop Michael Curry, which has caused people to talk about not hats and frocks (and there were some dramatic examples of those) but about love and faith. The day after and sat down and wrote some questions based on his address which both our homegroups used:
Questions to reflect on the sermon
- “The power of love, the redemptive power of love….” What do you think Dr Martin Luther King meant by this…. Can you give examples of the redemptive power of love making the old world a new world?
- How can we “over-sentimentalize love?” On an occasion like a (royal) wedding is there a temptation to do this?
- Michael Curry points to God as the source of love (1 John 4: 7-8). What difference does this make for you?
- When Michael Curry says “love is not only about a young couple…. and we all showed up”, what more is love about both for Harry and Meghan and for all who shared in the experience of the service live or on TV?
- “Someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in human history” In what ways has that revolution changed the world and how could it further change the world in which we live? How can you be a part of that revolution?
- Michael Curry quotes the line of the spiritual The Balm of Gilead, that declares that all of us can be witnesses, even if we cannot preach like Peter or pray like Paul, you just tell the love of Jesus, how he died to save us all. What has been your experience of others sharing this message in their lives and words and how can you share that unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love with others?
- Michael Curry encourages us to think and imagine a world where love is the way.
Iftar Meal at Lanterns Restaurant: Tuesday 29th May 2018
The Cathedral Council decided to have one Iftar Meal, so more than twenty attended a lovely buffet meal at Lanterns restaurant on the Budaiya Highway, a good opportunity to come together, to welcome some who were visiting Bahrain for a short spell of work filling in at the US Embassy.
It was a foretaste of the summer programme of events that we plan to organize in July and August, to hold what becomes a rather fragmented community over the hot months, while so many people are away. The hot summer has really arrived: temperatures well into the forties centigrade in the beginning of June and in our car saying it’s 48 degrees with an air conditioner that is clearly struggling.
Arrival of Recycling Bin: Saturday 2nd June 2018
After much debate in the Cathedral Council and delay caused by the wrong bins being delivered to the recycling company, a smart new recycling bin has arrived on the compound and the first bottle posted into the bin. I rang the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to ask them to make use of it on Sunday morning and this morning on early morning walk around the Manama Cemetery I took a bag and collected 55 bottles!
Looking ahead, this is an opportunity for us to educate our children and young people and for them to educate us. Our Friday Club will be using material recently produced by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network/ Green – Oceans-of-Plastic – in September leading up to our Harvest Festival in October. Harvest is a time when we particularly give thanks to God for the gift of the world and all that it produces, and we will use the opportunity to reflect on our abuse of our world and how we can begin in small ways to address that.
Wedding: Stephen and Mwikali: Saturday 2nd June 2018
Meeting together with Stephen from the US and Mwikali from Kenya a few weeks ago, I felt it would be good to connect them with Rob and Catherine (a UK/Kenya marriage), as I said to Catherine you Kenyans marrying Wazungu need to stick together. So it was lovely to hear that they had got together and that on her wedding day Mwikali changed into her wedding finery at their home and was driven to the Cathedral. and Rob on behalf of Mwikali’s family gave her away and Catherine was clearly acting in the role of Matron of honour. It was a lovely occasion and they went out to a song sung by the Kenya Boys Choir.