Two Services – Two Islands – Two Languages

Rev Mike Smith, Chaplain of Tenerife North, tells us he took party in two services for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on consecutive days on two different islands. Added to that he had to preach once in English and once in Spanish!!

 On Friday 24th January, people gathered in the church of San Francisco in Puerto de la Cruz for a multi-lingual service. Lead by the Vicario Episcopal, Don Domingo Navarro, Mike joined Johann Weingartner of the German Lutheran Church, Lauri Virkkunen of the Finnish Lutheran Church, Mats Gunnarson of the Scandinavian Church and Marcos Luis of the Roman Catholic Church and also Bishop’s Ecumenical Officer. (All in picture from left to right...)

Part of the service was the presentation of gifts in symbolic form as each denomination’s gift to the whole Christian Church. The German Lutheran Church presented a bible, representing the Word of God, the Scandinavian Church presented a globe, symbol of their Missionary Work, the Finnish Church presented two ropes tied together symbolising their work of reconciliation, the Anglican Church presented  bunch of flowers - each flower different - representing diversity in unity & the Roman Catholic Church presented an ancient book of Spanish services, representing the great Traditions of the Church.

The following day Mike flew to La Palma to join his colleague, Rev Jenny de Riverol and the local Roman Catholic Community and good friends Don Domingo to celebrate the Week of Prayer again. This time, Mike preached in Spanish.

Both services featured the words of Pope Francis. In Puerto the congregation were reminded of the words of Pope Francis when he said that our disunity was a scandal to God. All present committed themselves to work for visible unity in Christ. On La Palma once again the words of Pope Francis were invoked where he called on the Christian Churches to cherish what we share in common, but to be ready to throw aside the things that divide us.

Tenerife pic