Sunday, 9 December 2012

Second Advent Sunday

Showers of rain punctuated the day from first light, presenting unending cloud variations over the sea rendering the air chilly. The church apartment is nice and warm but the church heating isn't on yet! There were seven of us plus Salvatore the caretaker for this Sunday's Eucharist. Two men came from Catania. One works in Brussels and attends Holy Trinity Anglican Church when he's there. We invited our guest to read the lessons. Several of the few regulars will be away for Christmas. It's hard to imagine who will attend services, although visitors every Sundays are the norm. While I was preaching, there were rumbles of thunder. It awakened a memory of preaching in a thunderstorm, in country church at Black River Jamaica thirty years ago. I couldn't resist telling this to the congregation afterwards.

After lunch I went for a walk down the steps to the sea shore, having found an alternative route for the upper section of the walk, past the football stadium just downhill from the church. Both are about the same length. The route I just discovered has a steep section of road and few steps. It's a steep climb either way.There wasn't a single bar, restaurant or hotel open along the coast road, and not a single person on the beach by Isola Bella. It was like a ghost town, but lovely in the light of the afternoon sun.

When I got back, Pfarrer Andreas, German Lutheran Church chaplain for communities in Sicily had just arrived and was preparing for their five o'clock service. We chatted in English. He also speaks French having worked in Brussels, and is already pretty competent in Italian, as he travels all over Sicily ministering to German expats. The Lutherans have another service this month, on Christmas Eve at three. I'll be the only service that day as there aren't enough people to sustain a celebration other than one on Christmas morning, so hopefully we shall join them. That will make our festivities somewhat different from usual.

Suore Tarcisia rang the bell just before the Lutheran service was about to start, she had come to convey greetings from the Vicar General of Messian who had been due to come to the service this evening and welcome the new Pastor, who's only been in Sicily four months. She came to tell me about a meeting on ecumenism for young people in the Duomo this Thursday, which she's involved. I'd seen it advertised on the Duomo noticeboard yesterday and that made me curious, so I enquired this morning of Norma. All trails led back to Suore Tarcisia! She'll be introducing the group to the Jewish roots of Christianity, preparing for a meeting with Sicily's remaining rabbi from Syracuse and she's invited me to join her in this venture. If I get stuck speaking Italian, we have French in common to fall back on. I'm in my element here.

No comments:

Post a Comment