Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rio, Day 6

August 25, 2008

And so it is time to come home at last. After church yesterday Richard and I had a good meeting with Bishop Filadelfo who gave his blessing for us to pursue relationship with the cathedral and its ministry around St. Theresa. The Bishop also told us that Redentor was expecting to be in relationship with us. I don’t have a particular vision for what that might be based on what I know, but wonder if friendship through hospitality could be possible in addition to our support of the work of the cathedral.

Rio is clearly not Africa, but nor is it Atlanta. Rio is a modern city, but the problems of the working communities (apparently the preferred term over ‘favela’) are as intractable and widespread and on a scale as any third world poverty. The empowerment of women seems to be a potential key to real change in these places. I suspect the gifts that we will receive will include pushing us to claim and proclaim our identity (as Anglicans?): both protestant and catholic, our expression of faith in the past but looking forward we cannot be negative (–neither rigid interpretations of scripture in fundamentalism, nor in some curia for the doctrine of the faith’.) I prefer something along the lines of our expressing the new humanity promised and begun in Christ where right relationship shapes doctrine so that the fruits of the Spirit are made manifest for all people.

In the evening we had dinner with Inamar Correa de Souza of the Cathedral and her husband Eduardo Coelho Grillo of S. Lucas. They are an impressive couple in htier forties, both quite experienced in Church matters. (Inamar represented Brazil on the executive committee of the World Council of Churches in Geneva for a term), both woefully underpaid and waiting for six months of back pay as I write, and both engaged in ministries that manifest the life of the Spirit.

We talked of how we might proceed including whether Inamar or both of them could visit us in Atlanta to learn about us and to tell the story of their work.

Last thought before the airport: it might make sense to rename ‘global missions’ as ‘global relationships’.

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