As of today - September 24th

Patriotic celebrations are winding down here in San Ignacio. The pavilion put up for the month is being taken down, the banners and flags are slowly disappearing, and life is returning to normal. It's sad to see some of the pomp go away, but life must go on again as it had before.

The festivities last week were indeed truly exciting: I marched in two parades. Thursday I marched again with our St. Andrew's school students through most of San Ignacio. Then on Friday, I was privileged to give the prayer of invocation at the opening ceremonies of the parade on Independence Day. It was an honor to share the podium with public officials, community organizers, and the winners of the beauty pageants from around the district. We then marched through the two towns, waving at friends and supporters and trying not to dance too wildly to the Caribbean rhythms being pumped out noisily from the floats behind and before. While it was a little strange to march alongside of political figureheads up soon for re-election, it was great to be out to see everyone and be seen. A ministry of presence and visibility in a way.

Apart from that, the week was full of interaction with the schools and pastoral visits to youth and their families: all in all, the days that were not spent in patriotic festivities were busy but routine, and I was able to prepare some for my Sunday sermon and to get ready for the start of Confirmation classes as well.

This week looks to be interesting: on Wednesday, there is a celebratory gala for the Peace Corps at the U.S. embassy in Belmopan that I am looking forward to attending, and Sunday I am hoping to accompany Bishop Wright on some pastoral visits that he will be making to other congregations and missions in parts of Belize that I have not yet seen. I'm very excited.

Well, that's it all for now. I hope you all have a blessed Michaelmas (autumn's smaller yet still cheerful counterpart to Christmas), and keep those prayers coming for me!