8/13/2012

Hope in Our Midst: Sermon and reality

Last February shortly after returning from Haiti with 15 people from St. Peter's parish I preached on "Hope in Our Midst." The parish had just recently put in a recording system so that sermons would be available on the internet. I just realized that I could refer readers to those recordings directly. For reasons that you will understand in a moment I reference this sermon, "Hope in Our Midst" Here.

Is there any hope? Yes, there is hope, mostly in small acts of loving kindness and companionship.

Readers will know that over the years I have traveled through life with a good friend in Haiti, Yvan Francois, and he and I have lived out a good bit of what it means to be companions. About every year or so one of us visits the other, most often in Haiti, but sometimes at General Conventions, here in Delaware, and at weddings and baptisms of family. I have been to Haiti something like 16 times over the last 44 years but never for more than about 10 days.  I have hoped each time that it could be longer. God willing and the  people (whoever they are) consenting this hope is nearer to being fulfilled.  

Today I received news that the Theological Seminary in the Diocese of Haiti will allow me to join that community for three months as a scholar in residence. So, God willing I will join them in Port au Prince from mid November to mid February.  I will mostly be engaged in two writing projects one of which is of some value in the church in Haiti and in some exploration of what is going on in printmaking in Haiti.  But I will also be taking part in the daily life of the Seminary and in the life of the Church in Haiti, and of course in the companionable relation that has sustained this hope over these many years.

I am very thankful to the Seminary and to the Acting Dean, Pere Yvan Francois, and the Bishop, Mgr Zache Duracin, for this appointment.  

I know full well that my being there is mostly an opportunity for me to study and work, but just as I have hoped to be able to be in Haiti for an extended period of time, so I have hoped that while there I might do something of value to the life of the Church in Haiti.  

So even with hope fulfilled I still hope. It shows up when needed. Following General Convention and closing down several past paths I was wondering what would come next, and -  here it is.  

Here in Lewes, the little town on the edge of the bay by the big water, we have to be careful to name our "Kathryns".  There is Katharine, our Presiding Bishop; Katherine, our Deacon; and Kathryn, my wife. All these Kathryns are sources of hope, but in this case it is clear: it is Kathryn my wife and companion at this end who has helped me make the hope real by lots of encouragement. And it is Yvan at the other.

I'm so ready!




3 comments:

it's margaret said...

Oh! How wonderful! --Advent, The Feast of the Incarnation, Epiphany and maybe even Ash Wednesday in a whole new way!!! I can see this may be more than life changing!

Mark, may your anticipated stay in Haiti be all that you dream and more. And, please do set aside some time to blog while you are there.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Mark, I'm so very pleased for you. I know that the people and land of Haiti occupy a large space in your heart. May your time in Haiti be a blessing to you. I have no doubt that you will be a blessing to your good friend and many others amongst the Haitian people during your stay.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Congratulations, Mark. What wonderful opportunities for you both! Mazel Tov!