Sunday, January 07, 2007

How I Know I'm Not Home

...gas is 80 cents a gallon, and the veterinarian advertises his services not only for cats and dogs, but also for horses and camels. Falconry is also very popular here.

It's 7 a.m. on Monday morning and I'm the first one awake in the house. So I'm downstairs in the office visiting with you.

Last night was the Sunday night service at church ( Here's a picture of me with Father Ian . A much quieter and more traditional service than the Friday morning one. The American ambassador was there, with several very large Qatari bodyguards waiting outside. It turns out he and I have several mutual friends from the days when I was a political appointee in a prior administration. As a result of a number of conversations with folks at that service and the Friday one, I'm setting up some meetings with key people in the church to discuss their perceptions of Epiphany and what works there. I suspect that for many the answers to all questions will be "we come because Father Ian has made us so welcome." The congregation includes Anglicans, Episcopalians, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterians, Covenanters, Baptists, you name it. So I did the reading from Ephesians (nothing like endless participial phrases to keep one on one's toes) and served the chalice at the Eucharist. A baby was born to one family in the congregation, and he will be baptized the day that I'm preaching, so I will be figuring out how to work that into the sermon as well.

This morning we'll probably go to the souq to look at ouds (Syrian lutes) and see if it's possible for StrongOpinions to buy one for the boyfriend, and to pick up some incense for a high-church friend. This afternoon we may go out to the desert. I doubt that I'll ride a camel, but you never know...


Cathy said...

OH now I know what you look like - what a nice picture!

I am enjoying your trip so much - enjoying the pictures and your sharing of your story there. Thanks!

Laura said...

How fun to have that connection with ambassador! And I'm glad to know what Fr. Ian looks like, since I doubt I'll have a chance to meet him now that he's retiring.