Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rio, Day 4

August 23, 2008

We went to the City of God (the book and film of 2003 were about this community http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_God_(film) ) a planned community founded in the sixties to provide housing for poor people in Rio. The rector is a man called Eduardo Costa who showed us around along with a newly arrived USPG priest from London called Nicholas Weaver. Eduardo has two other jobs and is also training as a dentist to supplement his income. Nicholas is intending to be a full time priest for this struggling mission which will be helpful. The City of God is not strictly speaking a favela although we were told to expect that we would see people carrying guns as we walked around. The church is called Cristo Rey (Christ the King). We met two parishioners, one of whom was a convert both from the drug trade and Pentecostalism. Both knew why they are Anglican but did not offer much clarity as to why anyone else should be. That is the question that must be answered if the Anglican Church in Brazil (or at least Rio) is to have a future.

I understand from Richard that St. Paul’s, Atlanta might be looking at relationship with this work and think that would be a good match. I’m not sure what God has in store to make the rest of our trip feel other than a boondoggle. Tonight we will have dinner with the retiring Bishop Celso who has been to All Saints’ and will continue to have a vital ministry among the poor along with his psychotherapy practice.

Tomorrow morning I preach at Redentor (Redeemer) who were so hospitable to our pilgrims three years ago. They are the largest congregation in the diocese, a viable parish who sound as though they are a strong community whose primary work is to gather for worship and fellowship.

In the afternoon I hope to get some time with Bishop Filadelfo and seek his blessing for pursuing a relationship with the work of the Cathedral and then in the evening see Inamar and Eduardo and see if they have interest in and ideas for a relationship with all Saints’ that transcends money.

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