Bishop Bob, Kathie and I have been very busy since arriving in this inviting and hospitable land. Yesterday we attended the Synod of the Diocese of the Amazon. The clerics and people of the diocese were joined by the new Primate of the Igregia Episcopal, Anglican do Brasil, Archbishop Francisco de Assis da Silva.
Not quite done with the gremlins that have made this journey interesting, Kathie’s and my taxi cab had an encounter with a cyclist. Can not tell you for sure whose fault it was, it is hard to determine those kind of things here. The good news is that the cyclist, though thrown to the asphalt was fine, got up and rode away on the bicycle once it was extracted from under the cab and a small amount of cash changed hands.
We arrived at a break in the proceedings and were fed by the wonderful people of the Parish Church of St. Lucas (Luke). In the afternoon +Bob addressed the Synod telling the people about our diocese and the similarities between the Diocese of Amazonia and the Diocese of Huron. Both dioceses sit on 1/5th or 20% of the world’s fresh water supply.
He went on to talk of our hopes and aspirations for this new relationship. After Synod we went out for dinner with the Saulos, their son Thomas, Archbishop Francisco and several parishioners from St. Lucas.
We went to a wonderful restaurant in one of the original warehouses along the docks. The warehouse has been transformed into several restaurants on the ground floor and shops on the mezzanine.
This morning saw us back at St. Lucas for the Synod service. Bishop Bob gave the homily and both bishops signed the covenants for the new Companion Diocese Relationship. The archbishop was again in attendance as were clerics and parishioners from around the diocese. +Bob presented the archbishop with a City of London baseball hat and t-shirt, ‘making him an honorary member of the Diocese of Huron’. Bishop Saulo had been presented with this t-shirt and cap yesterday.
Bishop Bob, Kathie and I gave Bishop Saulo and Ruth gifts from our diocese. A beach glass Pectoral cross for the bishop and a beach glass broach for Ruth. Both had been lovingly moulded and set in sterling silver by Jason Simpson of J B Simpson Jewellers of Richmond Street (opposite St Paul’s Cathedral).
After the service we came back to the hotel to rest before going back to the wharf for a late afternoon cruise on the Amazon with the Saulos. We were joined by Mary, a parishioner of St. Lucas, Mary, who is my counterpart, will be accompanying the Saulos when they come to Huron this May for our Synod. Following our cruise we once again returned to the warehouse complex and ate at a different restaurant, topping off our meal, that included a lovely Chilean red wine, with ice cream from the ice cream shop located in the warehouse.
Back home to bed as Bishop Bob and I have an early morning flight to Grupa. This will take us up the Amazon to visit several parish communities in the Diocese of Amazonia. Kathie is going to stay in Belem and have lunch with Mary.
This is an amazing experience, the people of the diocese are so warm and welcoming. They are a diverse group of dedicated Anglicans joined by their love of the Lord. Truly the Holy Spirit is alive and can be found amongst these wonderful people.