We are continuing our discussion on the Articles of Religion (or “the Thirty-Nine Articles) in our discipleship group, and last week, we discussed Article 17, Predestination, which was predictably (no pun intended!) exciting.
After the discussion, as we are wont to do, we went down some bunny trails, and somehow ended up discussing a prayer that apparently some priests pray when someone is accepting Christ, that the person’s name is removed from the book of death and written in the book of life. I’ve never heard of this, and it launched a bit of a firestorm discussion.
I asked where this “book of death” is recorded in Scripture, and of course my student didn’t know where (because it’s not there). I pointed out that there’s only the book of life, and then we went to Revelation 20:11-15, and discussed the difference between ‘the books’ that hold the record of our lives and ‘the book of life,’ which records the names of those who are saved. More discussion ensued.
Then another student jumped in, and said, “Listen to that passage in Luganda; it brings it out clearly for me.” And she pulled out her phone (yes, there’s an app for that!), and read the passage in Luganda.
Continue reading Power of the (local language) Word at Here I Am.
Students preach in chapel twice a week, and to help them refine their sermon preparation skills, we read their sermons and give feedback prior to delivery. Last week, a student brought me her sermon, and it was in rough shape. I confess I was a little less than gracious with her; she had waffled on whether she would be the one to deliver the sermon, so my patience was already a bit thin by the time she brought the text. So we talked, and she went to make corrections.
She brought her revised sermon, and it seemed as though she neglected to do a proper exegesis on the text. Since I taught her that course unit, I have to confess that I was more than a little annoyed. So we talked about the passage, what was happening, and how it applies to us today.
When she came into the vestry Sunday evening, she greeted me with a warm smile and said, “Reverend, today someone gave me some avocados. Would you like some?” What a gift. I had been hard on her, and she responded by offering me some of what was given to her. Then in her sermon, she said that I had helped to open her eyes and broaden her thinking about what the passage means.
Continue reading Humility looks like avocados at Here I Am.
Each Thursday and Sunday evening we have a Holy Communion service. Students know that I’m very serious about keeping time, and they have much improved upon not entering during prayers or Scripture readings. I’m very proud of them.
I don’t know whether this is an African thing, or a low church thing, but our students rarely enter the chapel many minutes before the service, if at all. It’s become something of a joke that the Archdeacon (me) comes to invite them to enter the chapel when really, I fail to understand why I have to urge clergy and ordinands to come to church.
In their defense, at 5:00pm the heat is decreasing, and since they are all required to attend, the time before the service is a good time to fellowship.
So Thursday, the students were scattered on the lawn outside the chapel as the team was beginning to process. I took this photo just for fun, not to shame them, yet they got the point and entered the chapel. A picture truly is worth more than a thousand words (of correction)!
Continue reading Goin’ to the chapel at Here I Am.
Yesterday, a woman came in my office asking me to keep a kitenge (printed cloth) for another lecturer, and of course I agreed. Then she asked me if I wanted to look at the other bitenge (plural of kitenge). I knew I needed to say no, but I said yes.
So this happened.
I wish I could offer a good reason for my lack of restraint because I SO do not need another kitenge, but look at it! It’s gorgeous.
I love my bitenge dresses: they’re custom designed and tailored, and clearly, bitenge is a weakness of mine.
So now that I had this gorgeous kitenge, I couldn’t decide whether to have it made into a dress, or a blouse and skirt that I could wear with my clericals, so I went to find Vicky, one of UCU’s recent graduates who is temporarily working in the chaplaincy, and who is always very smart (looks very nice).
When I entered the office, Simon and Tony were in the office with Vicky. I showed the kitenge to Vicky, and since this is Uganda and conversations always include whoever is in earshot, Simon and Tony joined Vicky in expressing their admiration.
Continue reading Group decision making at Here I Am.
I follow several groups on Facebook about life in Africa; some are informational, some are fun. In the fun category is “Africa, This is why I live here,” which features the beauty and idiosyncrasies of my beloved continent.
Photos like this are gold. This was taken in South Africa, though I’m sure it could apply to Uganda as well.
130 km/h = 80.78 mph. That would be one exciting roundabout (traffic circle)!
Continue reading And now for some fun at Here I Am.