Monday, January 22, 2007

Christian Unity Sunday

Last night we were all at the same church service - an unusual event these days! It was Christian Unity Sunday, and there was an invitation to all the churches in Larnaka to attend a service, based this time on Caribbean liturgy, at St Helena's Anglican church, where Tim is the organist. Tim was in charge of the music - he actually took his nice keyboard, and formed a temporary inter-church band - with someone from the Community Church playing bass guitar, and someone from Grace Church playing the trumpet. Plus one of the youth group leaders singing - she hasn't yet decided which church to attend as she's only been here a few months. They didn't get a chance to rehearse together, other than about twenty minutes warming up beforehand, but it sounded good. I particularly liked a slightly jazzed-up version of 'Amazing Grace'.

Richard was doing the PA - something that looks so simple at the time, but of course takes half an hour to load and unload, an hour to set up, and then another hour-and-a-half to pack up and bring home again. Quite a task even though his PA system is much smaller and more portable than they used to be.

So although we were all at the service, we weren't sitting together. I sat with some friends near the front, and thought it a very pleasant service. There were representatives from 10 different churches present, more than ever before: St Helena's, Grace Fellowship, Larnaka Community Church, and Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church are the four biggest English-speaking Protestant churches in Larnaka, and did most of the organising. The Greek Evangelical Church was also represented, as usually happens. Then there were two newer non-English fellowships: the Filipino Church and the Chinese Church; the latter has only been formed in the past few months and mainly attracts students. In addition there were representatives from the two Roman Catholic Churches in Larnaka, and one priest from one of the Greek Orthodox Churches, who gave an excellent short message from his bishop (who was unable to be present).

It was all very friendly, and ended - as ever, with Christian gatherings! - with excellent refreshments. The only sad thing is that so few of the Greek Orthodox churches were represented, and that there were at least three other Protestant churches who weren't there either.

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