I would like to preface this by saying I went to an Anglican church in Cambridge last night that bucks all the trends I've written about Anglicanism in this newsletter. More on that next month.
Chris at Saint Mark’s: Newsletter One
GREETINGS ALL. There has been a lot going on. I’ve been working at St. Mark’s for over a week now. I’ve started to get the hang of the sports around here and I’ve been to Cambridge. And, now I’ve put together a newsletter!
In the last two weeks I’ve attended 3 Anglican services. One of them in an old rural church, one in the cafeteria of a huge cathedral-like church, and one in the actual cathedral church. The services differed quite a bit, from a 15 person service with music provided by children playing saxophone and clarinet to a slow creaking organ playing to 100 some people, to an electric keyboard in an ancient church. The sermons have run the gamut from wishy-washy social gospel, to a Children’s sermon, to a call for the church to be something different than the world, to be salt, to be light.
I’m getting the hang of Anglican worship. The music is MUCH slower than what I’m used to and there are no musical notes to go with the songs. A personal, not corporate, relationship with God is emphasized. The Liturgy (order of worship) is quite similar, though not the same as that of the Lutheran church. This caused a bit of confusion on my part, as the words I responded were 90 percent the same as those everyone else did, but occasionally I would slip up. For example both the Lutherans and the Anglicans benedict (end the service calling the people to go out into the world) saying “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” But the Lutherans respond “Thanks be to God,” whereas the Anglicans respond “In the name of Christ. Amen.” Also I’ve noticed that the Lutherans sing a lot more of the liturgy than do the Anglicans, which surprises me, as the charge is often made against the Anglican Church that they are Crypto-Catholics.
I had a day off this Saturday so I went to Cambridge! I biked to the railway, put my bike on the train, and road around Cambridge. I almost got killed when I first entered onto the road from a bike path as I started by riding on the right side of the road. Then a monster sized moving truck barreled at me. I’ve stayed on the left side since then!
Cambridge is a beautiful city. There were many old buildings. Everything looked as ornate as an old church. What I found strange about Cambridge was that there were TONS of tourists wandering around the college (in fact you could pay for gondola tours of campus if you wanted to). I'm not sure how the students handle all the attention Cambridge gets.
I found out that “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” was playing at The Cambridge Corn Exchange Theater so I went and saw it! When I came out it was wet! It had rained a lot. I sloshed back home, muddy and wet as all get out.
The adventurous part of me is thinking I may try and apply to the Cambridge Divinity School. It's just a vague dream right now, but we'll see “what dreams may come,” to quote the play.
As you know by now when I came to St. Mark’s the only think I knew I would be doing was teaching Trampoline and Archery. Since then I have realized this job mostly involves serving our guests, cleaning dishes, and tidying up rooms. I have yet to instruct anyone on archery, but I have been instructed about archery quite a bit. Right now I am half-way through certification for becoming an archery instructor. I’ve become a deadly shot at 10 yards and can shoot both sighted and with a bare-bow.
Another exciting sport I’ve started to pick up is Cricket! Jon, my boss, bowled me a couple of balls the other day. It’s an amazingly complex game that I can only describe as a mix between Hockey, Baseball, and Croquette that can last for days on end. The biggest misconception I had about the game was that I assumed the batter’s goal was the same as a batter in Baseball, but I’ve found out he is in some ways more of a goalie, keeping the pitcher from hitting a wicket with a ball. Right now England is playing Australia, I think it is about day 4 now. If England wins it will be a major upset.
As for the Trampoline Viktor and Yan have taken to it like Penguins to ice. I’m still, for some reason, a bit cautious.
Joseph, a mirror image of Jesus:
I mentioned earlier that I saw “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” when I went to Cambridge. One thing that caught my attention was that Joseph’s story has many parallels with Jesus’. I may have noticed this because Andrew Loyd Weber, who wrote “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” also wrote “Jesus Christ Super Star” and I noticed how similar the two stories were rendered. Still, I think there are a lot of similar themes.
For example one of the main characterizations of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark is that of Hidden Messiah. That is throughout the Gospel only the reader knows that Jesus is the Messiah, everyone else is left wondering who Jesus is. That Jesus is the Christ is only revealed at the end of the Gospel. Likewise Joseph hides his identity from his brothers, and his identity is only revealed at the end of the story.
Also both Jesus and Joseph are betrayed, Joseph by all but one of his brothers, Jesus by one of his disciples. Both are jailed, both meet a ruler (Pilate and Pharaoh).
A very short story:
“I’ve washed all day.”
“Well, wash some more kid,” said Melvin.
Rick sighed, and bent down again, scrubbing hard against the teakettle. He could see himself in it. It was because polishing is a metaphor. He was polishing himself as he served, as he, as he said, ‘washed all day’ he was washing himself, scrubbing away his previous understanding of life, refining it, making it more true to life.
“Praise be,” he said, smiling.
As I mentioned before my American English has gotten me into some trouble here in England. So far I’ve talked about my underwear when I meant to talk about my pants, I’ve claimed to put gravy on my cookies, I’ve talked about flatulence when I meant to be discussing the price of gasoline, and I keep calling Potato chips French Fries.
So here is a small list of British English to US English:
cream crackered- Sleepy
Public School- Private School
State School- Public School