sunday celebrations

There have been two things so far that have got assembly participants up on their feet, cheering in appreciation. One was the arrival of Desmond Tutu on Monday (more of him in a moment) and the other was the Cuban choir singing on Sunday. The choi's performance was greeted with shouts of Cuba! Cuba! and demonstrations of solidarity.

Appreciation for the Cuban choir

Sunday was Latin American day at the assembly and after church in the morning, the day was a feast of Latin American music and dance culminating in a concert in the evening.

For Sunday worship, I attended the Igreja Methodista Central in Porto Alegre and passed on greetings from Beckminster to the congregation. It was good to be able to worship with local Christians and I sat next to a lovely Brazilian couple who had spent some months in Stafford it turned out! Talking with them went some way to helping me recover from the shock of being asked to stand for a procession of Methodist bishops at the start of the service, after which they all stood at the front and we sang a song of praise - I hoped to God, and not the bishops. On the postive side, it was good to see Methodists represented from around the world and at least there were three women leaders amongst the fifteen up front, including a simply dressed El Salvadorian woman who was the president of conference and was at first not going to go up as she wasn't a bishop but was encouraged to by those around her.