Let’s call it 2/3 vacation and 1/3 traveling work.
This summer the Miller family spent a week and half in the small village of Villaescusa in the Comunidad (state) of Castilla y León. We spent the next week and a half in a rural community outside of Posada de Llanera in the Comunidad (state) of Asturias.
As a priest I also ministered at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Villaescusa, the Church of the Redeemer in Salamanca, and preached at the Church of St Eulalia in Oviedo. For the first two churches, it was the first time they had received a pastoral visit in many months, since before the quarantine started in March.
Here are some pictures from Castilla y León:
And now some pictures from beautiful Asturias:
Hope you enjoyed these photos. Leave questions in the comment section.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Durie has done some very important work on the theme of conversion from Islam to Christianity. He argues in his book Liberty to the Captives that converts should openly and liturgically renounce their former covenant with Allah that was mediated through Muhammad.
This is especially relevant in relation to those dealing with the baptism of a convert, since it is the sacrament whereby one enters into the Church, which is to say the people of the New Covenant—one with a different mediator.
Learn more by reading this interesting (if provocative) PDF:
And without further ado here are some additional articles from St Francis Magazine, sadly now out of print (and off-line). The online journal made a solid contribution to the study and practice of Christian mission and ministry in Arab (and Islamic, in general) contexts. Here are my selections of from the 2007 volumes.
Here is my latest material from Anglican Compass (formerly Anglican Pastor):
I didn’t even remember the phone call. One evening when I was loafing around the house an Arabophone brother called me from a foreign country and had some questions about our small Arabophone fellowship, Kanisa. What did we believe? I answered: we had an evangelical orientation and confessed the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds. Did we belong to a particular denomination? I answered: I’m an Anglican priest and the other pastors come from Assemblies of God and Methodist backgrounds, though we welcome people from the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, ex-Muslims, and Muslim seekers too.
Years ago I helped with the publication of St Francis Magazine. It was an online journal that focused on Christianity in Arab and Muslim-majority contexts. I have an archive of most (maybe all) of the articles. I thought that since I’m stuck inside our flat in Madrid with extra time on my hands I would share some of those via this blog.
These are just a few of my favorite ones, though I understand that others are available at Academia.edu and Scribd.com, so if you’re looking for a specific article and it’s not here, please head over to those websites.
These are articles from St Francis Magazine, 2005–2006 (the first and second years of publication). If you are interested in other articles please let me know.
If you’re interested in more of these articles please let me know. SFM really did publish some outstanding work (and some substandard work, I’m sure). But it filled a gap that no one else did at the time and, I think, no one does today.
In 1665 Bubonic Plague, the “Black Death” as it was called at the time, broke out in the city of London, and thousands died. Almost immediately, the royalty left the city, followed quickly by the rich, and then as one wag put it in his history of the time “Most of the clergy suddenly decided they could best minister to their flocks from far, far away.” The scenes of horror recounted in the various plague journals kept by those who stayed are piteous. Hospitals were crammed full of the dying and quickly overwhelmed whatever doctors and nurses had not either fled or died themselves.
But then in the midst of all that terrible sickness and sorrow, and death, who do you think it was who heard the cry of those suffering and returned in droves to minister to the sick and dying, to pastor congregations whose ministers had fled with…