The children’s choir at St. John the Baptist Cathedral

Sundays are always big days in the Rwandan Anglican Church. They start early and run long, marked by joyful and exuberant worship services. When we come to Rwanda it’s important that we participate in worship services, not only to signify our unity together in the Lord, but also because we have opportunity to connect with the greatest number of people in a single setting. For instance, in the early service yesterday (conducted in English), I was invited to pray over the children before they left for children’s church. This honor came because we are known and recognized as part of the church here, even though we are in the Chicago area.
Yesterday’s English service marked the installation of Pastor Samuel Mugisha as a new pastor for the Cathedral. Sam and his family have recently concluded a year in Birmingham, AL where Sam worked on a Doctor of Ministry degree at Beeson Divinity School. Sam spent a week at Redeemer several years ago, and prior to Beeson, was the Pastor in Kigali Rwanda that worked directly with Dan Hanlon. So there are many important connections that we are able to celebrate over time.
There is a team visiting the Shyira Diocese this week from Christ Community Church in Kansas City. Two of the four are graduates of Trinity (TEDS) and know many mutual friends and members of Redeemer—so we have even found connections there that are pleasant surprises. This team is evaluating how they might partner with Bishop Mbanda and the diocese going forward, and that only strengthens the mission here, and ties to churches in the US.
We were privileged to be in worship from 7:30am to 12:30 pm on Sunday, and enjoy the jubilant singing and dancing of many choirs, including that of the congregation. Because it’s the one time in the week that many people see other, the services often go even longer, as they are reluctant to leave. They know the value and depth of the healing they know in worship, and that God is worthy of our praise. This primacy of worship makes us unified with Christians around the world–brothers and sisters in one family.