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Two visitors from the USA

19 October 2014

This weekend there were two visitors from the USA at church events we attended.

The first was the patronal feast of St Thomas’s Serbian Orthodox Church in Sunninghill, which was attended by Bishop Mitrophan from the USA, and several clergy from nearby parishes. We were a bit late for Vespers, having got the time wrong.

Vespers and Litiya at the Patronal Feast of St Thomas's, Sunninghill. The parish priest, Fr Isailo, censing the five loaves

Vespers and Litiya at the Patronal Feast of St Thomas’s, Sunninghill. The parish priest, Fr Isailo, censing the five loaves

Bishop Mitrophan is Professor of New Testament at the St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville, Illinois, USA. After Vespers the congregation had supper in the church hall, while the parish choir sang Serbian folk songs, and then Bishop Mirtophan briefly addressed the people.

Bishop Mitrophan at the patronal feast of St Thomas's Church, with, in the right of the picture, Fr Razvan Tatu, of St Andrew's Romanian parish in Midrand

Bishop Mitrophan at the patronal feast of St Thomas’s Church, with, in the right of the picture, Fr Razvan Tatu, of St Andrew’s Romanian parish in Midrand

Bishop Mitrophan studied in Romania, and has translated several Romanian theological works into Serbian, and among the clergy who attended the celebrations was Fr Razvan Tatu of St Andrew’s Romanian parish in Midrand so they were able to converse in Romanian.

Supper at the St Thomas's patronal festival

Supper at the St Thomas’s patronal festival

This morning, Sunday,  we had another visitor, in more humble circumstances.

Kaycie (Xenia) Simmons, a lay missionary from California, who is working in our diocese for a year, came on the train from Johannesburg to visit our small mission congregation in Mamelodi East. We used to meet in a school classroom, but when they put up the rent to an unaffordable level, we started meeting in the houses of parishioners.

As usual, we had the Hours and Readers Service (Obednitsa), and, in honour of the visitor,  a rather sumptuous lunch prepared by Grace Malahlela, in whose house we met.

Mamelodi congregation, Sunday 19 October, 2014

Mamelodi congregation, Sunday 19 October, 2014

Kaycie has begun work among children in Brixton who attend St Nicholas Church there, and hopes to start something similar among the children in Mamelodi, and possibly arranging some meetings for women.

Pretoria is best, of course, at jacaranda time

Pretoria is best, of course, at jacaranda time

The visitors arrived at a beautiful time of the year — late spring, when the jacaranda trees are blooming, and turning the steets and hills blue. We took Kaycie to see some of them, and she returned to Johannesburg in the car wehich our son Jethro helped her to buy, and has just fixed up so she can travel around for her ministry in various places.

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