At Home When Away

We’ve arrived in Grahamstown, South Africa!  We received a warm welcome from the Rector of the College of the Transfiguration, Dr. Vicentia Kgabe, and got to meet many of the students.  We are so excited to be here.

This morning we worshipped at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. George.


One of the things we love about worship in other parts of the Anglican Communion is how similar to and different from our experiences in the Episcopal Church it can be. This morning we celebrated the Eucharist using An Anglican Prayer Book of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa.  Many of the prayers and the shape of the liturgy were very familiar to us.  However, some parts of the liturgy were said and sung in the Setswana language.  The cantor at the Cathedral has a beautiful voice and made it easy to follow along, even in a language unfamiliar to us.  Here is the Easter greeting in Setswana:

Aleluya! Kreste o rudile! (Alleluia, Christ is risen!)  O rudile e le ruhi. Aleluya! (He is risen indeed. Alleluia!)

Singing was accompanied by organ and by marimbas played by a group of young people.  Beautiful!  We sang hymns for today, the Sunday after the Ascension and the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, The Church’s One Foundation, The Son of God Proclaim, and Crown Him with Many Crowns, all to tunes familiar to us from The Hymnal 1982.

We love feeling like we are part of one family wherever we go, because we are.


  1. I’m glad you feel like you are with family. Episcopalians/Anglicans have many cousins all around the world. Like living in a small town, there is always someone who knows someone you know or a shared hymn or prayer that connects you. Or maybe it’s just God’s love that connects you. #missing you in Maryland


    1. Cousins! That’s perfect. Today at the Cathedral they commissioned two lay ministers and the dean said one of the prayers we use on rogation days. Felt so good to hear it–same words, just different accent. God’s love is an amazing connector. Missing you too!


  2. Dear Amy and Joe ,I was thinking about you and sat down to write when I discovered this email . I can just picture you in the midst of the beautiful service you described. I do not know that dialect but can imagine it from hearing others when we have worshiped in east Africa. I love the feeling at home in Anglican worship world wide and even in other styles of worship with Gods love in Jesus at the center or at the heart of worship. I love that you were reading the same lessons we were continuing our oneness in Jesus. Dion even sang during his sermon which had a bit of the flavor you were experiencing. I am happy to hear your excitement in being there .What a joy that God would call you to this new place where your love and gifts in Jesus could bless a host of people and you also would be given a gift of seeing his love and teaching move you in new places in your heart. I am headed over to pick up the young singers for the service tonight. There will be an ice cream party after to celebrate the end of the program until September. Love to you as you enjoy learning about your new place And meeting the new friends. We hold you in our hearts and miss you. Happy news Townsend is chairing the search committee. Love Joy Peace in Jesus Alleluia. Jim and Deede Sent from my iPhone



  3. Hey, Amy+ and Joe+ — Your post about the familiar, yet unfamiliar world of Anglican/Episcopal worship really rang true for me, I remember worshiping in Chinatown during my GTS days. The entire service was in Chinese, but it was right out of the BCP. So, I followed along, praying in a familiar, yet unfamiliar way. Be well! Dion+


  4. Amy & Joe, Congratulations! You made it! We’re thinking of you and hope your  « great adventure » will be all you have hoped for.
    We miss you and keep you in our prayers.
    Love, Linda & Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bill and Linda. Feeling jet-lagged, but very grateful and blessed to be here. We miss you and very much appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Love, Joe and Amy


  5. Your post reminds me of two things … 1.) When I was “church shopping” after leaving the RC church, and I was traveling a lot at the time, I went to Anglican churches in Asia and Europe. I always found the familiar ritual that I realized I was looking for, as well as a welcoming sense of community before and after the services, and when it was time to pass the peace. 2.) I was giving a Korean family a tour of the Annapolis harbor, when the youngest boy asked him mother, in Korean, why the ducks were “quacking” in the Korean language in the United States! … and writing this, I’m reminded of more … because we are one, there are many “lingua franca” … ritual, music, animals, empathy, civility, love. Love and peace to both of you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for your response Molly! Love your list of lingua franca and how many of those things don’t necessarily contain words at all. Love and peace to you and your family too!


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