By Nigel Challen
On Sunday, March 29, I was given access through Facebook and watched Bishop Marinez, the Bishop of Amazonia, deliver a service in the cathedral in Belem, standing by herself in an empty cathedral.
The service was released on Facebook. It brought home that our sisters and brothers in Amazonia are in a similar COVID-19 situation to ourselves, with churches, and facilities closed and people in self isolation.
Then on Monday 30th March, we at St. Marks held our Morning Prayer. But due to our circumstances it was not normal!! We have started to do Morning Prayer using “Zoom” and holding virtual services Archdeacon Dr. Tim Dobbin started this format last week.
So we had a request from Joseane Paula ( Bishop Marinez’s Secretary) and her son Gabriel as to whether they could join us and hold our first virtual International Morning Prayer.
So it was done with God’s grace.
On March 30, we held Morning Prayer both in English and Portuguese languages, and we all participated via Zoom. There were eight of us. For me the highlight of Morning Prayer was when Father Tim read Psalm 31. Father Tim offered it responsively, in English and Joseane responding in Portuguese.
Joseane’s email afterwards summed it all up. “I may not have understood it all, but I was in the moment in a time of prayer, reading and meditation and togetherness”
Although the distance between the Diocese of Amazonia and our Diocese is over 5900km, we are one. Let us pray that we may have more combined services.
Nigel Challen is a member of the Companion Diocese Committee.