Thursday, March 7, 2013

Full and Running Over -- Back from India

Just a few weeks ago, Sharon and I returned from a trip to India.  We were there to see a new church building for which our Cathedral had provided most of the funding and to meet face to face with the people of that village parish -- St Paul's, Edayattupadam, Kottayam, Madhya Kerala Diocese, Church of South India.  In addition to visiting this congregation, we were guests of the bishop at the Diocesan Convention (more like a conference to us) and also attended Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kottayam.

In 2008, I had the privilege of attending the Holy Fire Ceremony in Jerusalem on Easter Eve.  Being with the people of St. Paul's, Edayattupadam as they welcomed us and we celebrated with them, in Eucharist and after, now ranks for me alongside the Holy Fire Ceremony as astounding, even overwhelming, experiences of the Resurrection.

Here is some video of the procession around the church following the Liturgy:

The Church of South India is the result of a successful merger of Anglicans, Presbyterians, and Methodists.  These former divisions are part of the ruins of Christendom that came to India with the missionaries.  But their coming together over 60 years ago is a sign of the Resurrection, despite the controversy it provoked at the time. Now, all these decades later, we experienced a Church which is ecumenical, evangelical and catholic.  It is thriving as a minority within a multi-faith culture.  We have much to learn from them as we poke about our own ruins.  We heard their children singing, "My cup is full and running over," and that song continues in our grateful hearts.