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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Drama, daily prayer and football

Ecumenical Guests with Fr Engin Yildirim (2nd from right)
The Church of the Resurrection, the Turkish-speaking congregation in Istanbul, headed by the priest-in-charge the Revd Engin Yildirim, continues to explore ways to deepen its spiritual and communal life. It is a challenge to nurture the faith of members in a country where there are few resources and opportunities available for Christians.

One new activity is a group which meets weekly to reflect on the Gospel and sermon from the previous Sunday, to explore ways of applying the liturgical Gospel in daily life. It seems that there is some acting talent in the congregation as well, so from time to time a drama group prepares a short play based on the scriptures of the day, as part of the Sunday liturgy. Fr Engin is also seeking to find ways to provide for some celebration of the daily office (morning and evening prayer) during the week, at times that will be suitable for his busy church members. And .... the parish has formed a football team!

Following the Sunday Eucharist on 16 October, the congregation invited several ecumenical guests to a reception, providing an opportunity for me to hear how their own congregations and ministries are faring. Lutheran, Reformed and Roman Catholic clergy attended. This was followed by a time of dialogue and exchange with members of the congregation on subjects ranging from the role of Confirmation in the Church of England, and the ordination of women!

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