Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Despatch at the start of a journey

I’m sitting at my desk on a warm and humid day, the sky heavily overcast and thunder rumbling in the distance. Upstairs DH is snatching a nap after a very disturbed night. In the hall is a stack of luggage, waiting to be transferred to the car in a couple of hours, when hopefully the rain will have stopped. We will then head across to stay overnight with my mother-in-law, before DH drives me into Oxford to catch the coach for Heathrow.

Yes, after a static but very busy  summer, full of building works and house sale and interrupted by another debilitating virus, I’m finally on the move again. This time it’s not to France or Scotland, but to Prague, for a much anticipated and very welcome return visit to my friend Ricky Yates, the Anglican chaplain there, before he retires next year. I’m looking forward enormously to exploring Prague again and catching up with the friends I made on my previous two visits.

During my visit I will be taking a Sunday service in Ricky’s absence and on the other Sunday I will go with him to Dresden, where he leads a monthly service of Evening Prayer in English at the Frauenkirche, the world-famous symbol of Dresden reborn.  This time he has invited me to be the guest preacher, a hugely exciting, if rather daunting, prospect. Wish me luck.

I’ve spent a rather large number of hours in the past few weeks working on the sermons I will preach and now they are nestling in my new super-light suitcase, along with two complete sets of clerical robes, as well as an ample stock of more usual holiday wear. The freezer is full, so DH won’t starve in my absence, the hairdresser has again successfully tamed my unruly mop and I’m ready for one more adventure. 


58 comments:

  1. I can feel the excitement! Have a wonderful time, enjoy your preaching, post some updates ... And travel safely, my friend!

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    1. Thanks, Christine. Yes, it's good to know I can still get so excited at my age. ;) It was an excellent journey and lovely to see my friends again and catch up face to face. I woke early and am now replying to comments before the day gets going...

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  2. What an adventure, and what a wonderful opportunity! I look forward to hearing about it when you return, and, if possible, it would be a treat to be able to read your sermon should you feel inclined to publish it on your blog. Safe travels!

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    1. The Prague sermon on Sunday 25th September, should be recorded & then published on the St Clement's, Prague website, a couple of days later http://anglican.cz/sermons/

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    2. Hari OM
      Thanks for this link Rev Ricky - what a treat!!! Yxx

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    3. It's an amazing opportunity, Kristin, and I'll certainly be telling you about it when I get home. I must confess it has never occurred to me to publish a sermon on my blog, but if you like I could email the text to you and anyone else who would like to read it. It's probably rather long for a blog post. ;)

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    4. That should of course read 'Kristie' Dratted predictive text!

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    5. I'm very sorry to say that the sermon won't be available online after all. Unfortunately the two people with the technical know-how to do the recoding won't be at church on Sunday, so it will have to be email or nothing, I'm afraid.

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    6. Can you not copy and paste into your blog? Or do you not have the file on your whatever-it-is you're blogging with?

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    7. I'm afraid the text is at home on my laptop and I'm answering comments on my tablet, as you can perhaps guess from some of the predictive text weirdnesses which have slipped past without my noticing. I think I'll get those who want to read either or both of them to let me know by email and I'll send them as a Word document.

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    8. I'm very pleased to report that we did manage to get a recording of the Prague sermon, not by the normal method of tapping into the sound system, but via a tablet left on the front pew. This has now been uploaded to the Church website & can be found here http://anglican.cz/25th-september-2016-eighteenth-sunday-after-trinity-revd-kathy-ferguson/ I'm promised the text in a few days which will then also be uploaded

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  3. And I am looking forward to collecting you from Letiště Václava Havla Praha - more prosaically, Prague Airport, tomorrow afternoon. Sybille & I very much look forward to hosting you over the next fortnight.

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    1. Just because we're at present in the same flat doesn't mean I don't need to reply to your comment, Ricky. ;) It was so lovely to be greeted by your smiling face as I came out into the airport entrance hall and start to catch-up with things on the drive home. It's wonderful to be back and I'm looking forward to the next fortnight with keen anticipation.

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  4. How wonderful to see an update from you, Perpetua. You were on my mind several times this summer. I hope you are feeling well and I wish you a safe trip to Prague to see your friend. Take care and enjoy yourself.

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    1. Thanks so much for your concern, Jennifer. I'm very touched as I've been a very neglectful blogger for the past few months. I will try to do better in the future and catch up with everyone's blogs. I'm now safely in Prague and looking forward to rediscovering this beautiful city.

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  5. Hari OM
    As Jennifer mentions, you have been on the minds of those who enjoy your perpetual transit in life! Sorry to hear the lurgy got you again - but some of that Southern heat may lift things... it has never managed more than a couple of days up this way. Definitely wishing you all the best for these extra special spiritual events. My good blog buddy Mara is currently holidaying over that way and has just posted about her two days in Prague. Enjoy you trip and we look forward to your return! YAM xx

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    1. Oh Yam, I'm starting to feel very guilty at having neglected my blogging friends so badly in recent months. Thanks so much for your concern. The lurgy was a pain and took quite a while to get over but I'm glad to say I'm fine again now and revelling in being back in beautiful Prague. The Dresden service is this coming Sunday and your good wishes are much appreciated. I'll be sure to report back afterwards...

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  6. Great to see you (as it were), after such a long gap. I hope you are now well and can't tell you how much I envy your trip to beautiful Prague.
    Hope to hear more anon.
    Blessings.

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    1. Thanks, Ray, and apologies for my prolonged absence. I've missed everyone and am looking forward to catching up now I'm back. I'm glad to say I'm now fit and well again and able to enjoy being back in what is probably my favourite city. I would love to be able to show it to you and hope my posts about it do it justice.

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  7. Prayers for a 'bubble of protection' on your travels, and for your ministry over there - and for a great couple of weeks holiday as well. Give my greetings to Ricky and Sybille - tell them I love their blogs and photos! See you when you get home. Love & blessigs. Helva xx

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    1. Glad to say your prayers were answered, Helga. I had an excellent journey and arrived safely and on time in a very hot Prague to be met by Ricky. The three of us spent the evening catching up over a meal in the garden of a local pension/restaurant - à lovely start to my visit.

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    2. Glad to say your prayers were answered, Helga. I had an excellent journey and arrived safely and on time in a very hot Prague to be met by Ricky. The three of us spent the evening catching up over a meal in the garden of a local pension/restaurant - à lovely start to my visit.

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    3. Your predictive text again! Yes please,if you're going to e-mail the sermon - I'd love to have a copy. Glad you've arrived safely. P & D and BH & I went to Shelagh's memorial service yesterday - poor DJ looks awful and was in a wheelchair (not during the service, but for travelling too and from. Love, Helva

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    4. The duplication was Blogger's fault, Helva, not predictive text this time. I can't delete the duplicate without losing your subsequent comment. :) Ill happily email the sermons, but it will have to be when I get home as the text is on my laptop. So glad you managed to get to Shelagh's memortal service. I did think of you all as I was sitting in the plane waiting to take off.

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  8. Oh, Perpetua, what a wonderful adventure you are about to embark upon! I have only been to Prague once and enjoyed every minute of it. And then being able to go on to Dresden to see that wonderful church. Have a wonderful time and take good care of yourself. Looking forward to hearing all about it...

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    1. Thanks, Broad. I must admit I'm pinching myself to be sure it isn't all a dream. I fell in love with Prague on my first visit back in 2010 and never tire of exploring it. Dresden will be new to me and I'm so thrilled to be going there as I've always wanted to visit it. I know I will enjoy every minute and promise to tell you all about it once I'm home again.

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  9. This sounds like a delightful trip for you, visiting with old friends and a chance to see again what I have heard is a beautiful city. Much luck with the sermons you have packed away.

    Here's wishing safe travels.

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes, Victoria. I'm glad to say the journey went very well and I've had a lovely couple of hit sunny days since then, reaquainting myself with the beauties of Prague. The weather has broken now, so a quiet day tomorrow before the trip to Dresden on Sunday.

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  10. So pleased to hear from you again, enjoy your working holiday.

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    1. Thanks, Madeleine. Lovely to see you again too. I really must be a better blogger once I get home after these two busy but enjoyable weeks.

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  11. Good to read about you again. Have a wonderful trip and keep well. Prague sounds wonderful - enjoy.

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    1. Sorry it's been so long, Susan. I'm glad to say I feel very well and am thoroughly enjoying myself so far. Prague is such a beautiful place and it's great to catch up with my friends again.

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  12. Just the one more adventure, Perpetua? I think not!! Have a wonderful time - take care and look forward to hearing about it all when you get back. Axxx

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    1. Well, just one to be going on with, Annie. ;) I keep hoping we may manage our suggested bloggers' get-together in Spain one day... You will certainly be hearing all about this trip once I'm home again.

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  13. Wow Perpetua! Your excitement shines through this post. Have a wonderful time. If your sermon shows as much enthusiasm as this posting you will [in the words of the young] be a hit. Best wishes for this adventure.

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    1. Thanks, Shirley. By the time I wrote it I was feeling very excited. I'd been too busy with preparations before that to have time for excitement. :) As for the sermons, I hope they will both speak to people, but only time will tell...

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  14. Safe travels, Perpetua, best to you in your sermon and on your adventure. I have several friends who are traveling to Prague this next week as well - a wonderful destination.

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    1. I'm glad to say I had an excellent journey, Penny, and am thoroughly enjoying myself so far. The very hot weather has just broken, so the temperatures should be much more comfortable for your friends as they explore the beauties of Prague.

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  15. Envy is a grave sin, but I do feel a wee bit envious right now. However, I am glad for your sake and believe this will be a blessed and delightful meeting. The services and the preaching will come out alive and bright. Prague is such a lovely place and Ricky seems such a nice person, you will have a great time, don't forget telling us about it!!! I will check out that link with the service of 25 september! Blessings to you and worry not about DH!!

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    1. I know envy is a sin, Solveig, but it's one I often share with you when I hear of people travelling to somewhere I would love to visit. I'm having a wonderful time getting acquainted again with Prague and having lovely long conversations with Ricky and Sybille over meals. The trip to Dresden is this coming Sunday and I'm really looking forward to it. I promise I will report back once I'm safely home in Wales again.

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  16. I shall tune in to listen to the sermon after the 25th - enjoy Prague.

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    1. I'm enjoying Prague already, Annie, and hoping the sermons will both come across to their listeners. However long one has been preaching, there's always a but of stage-fright beforehand.

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  17. Have an excellent time in Prague. May it be a blessed time as you serve, enjoy seeing old friends and re-exploring the city.

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie. I'm having a wonderful time already and taking lots of photos to share once I'm home again. It'a lovely to catch up with my friends and I'm really looking forward to the services.

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  18. I do hope that you have shaken off that debilitating bug and that you enjoy every moment of your trip...what a privilege to preach in the Frauenkirche!

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    1. I'm glad to say I really have got rid of it now, Helen, and am thoroughly enjoying getting to know Prague again and spending hours in conversation over meals with my friends. The Dresden service is on Sunday and I'm really looking forward to it. Such an honour to have been invited to preach there.

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  19. I love Prague although it must be 20 years since I was there - glad you are enjoying getting reacqainted with such a lovely city Perpetua - hope all goes well for you on Sunday at Dresden.
    This is the second comment I have written, my previous one seems to have vanished.

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    1. Many thanks for taking the trouble to try again when your first comment disappeared, Rosemary. It hadn't vanished, just gone into moderation as it's over a week since my post was published. I decided to publish your second comment, as it gives me the chance to thank you for your good wishes and let you know that the service went very well and I had a wonderful time in Dresden. I'm having an equally lovely time in Prague, which really is one of my very favourite cities and will definitely have lots to post about when I get home towards the end of next week.

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  20. I am so glad I didn't miss this post, Perpetua. It's lovely to think of you preparing for, and then following up with the opportunity to share in what I'm sure were very meaningful services. I'm sorry to hear that you'd been ill, but to have taken on such an ambitious travel plan you must be doing well again! I'll look forward to hearing more upon your return! Blessings to you, Debra (breathelighter)

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    1. Lovely to see your comment, Debra. I'm glad to say I'm fit and well and very much enjoying my time in Prague. The visit to Dresden was lovely and the sermon at the Frauenkirche seemed to go well. I'm now enjoying more sightseeing before the service on Sunday and my return to the UK a week today.

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  21. How lovely for you to go to Prague and visit with your friends. I’d love to visit that beautiful historic town. We changed plane in the Prague airport several years ago when returning from St. Petersburg, but our flight was late and we had to race – did not even have time to buy a postcard. It must have been exciting for you to prepare your sermons – do you speak a bit of Czech or does everyone speak English? Or do you provide a translated version? (Sorry I don’t know about these things.) It must have made you happy to do what you enjoy and also to be with friends.

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    1. I'm having a wonderful time in this beautiful city, Vagabonde. Such a pity that you didn't manage to get even a glimpse of it when you changed planes that time.
      I enjoyed the work of preparing the sermons, but language wasn't a problem. Both were for specifically English-language services, though I took care to speak very clearly for those in the congregations whose first language isn't English. Czech is a notoriously difficult language to learn and I only know a few words.

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  22. I keep up with you on Facebook, so I know that your travels are going well. This opportunity for travel, preaching, and renewing friendships is one that you will treasure the rest of your life. I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to visit Prague. I so want to go there someday. I have had a very short stopover in Dresden. What a wonderful place it is.

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    1. My travels are going wonderfully well, Sally, and I thoroughly enjoyed taking the service this morning here in Prague. It's such a beautiful and historic city and I really hope you get the chance to visit it one day. I only had a few hours to see the sights in Dresden, but very much enjoyed walking round the historic centre.

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  23. Dear Perpetua!!
    I hope your sermon went well yesterday in Prague, I have logged in to the website and listened to Ricky ( exiting to hear the voices!!!) and I look forward to listening to you. Unfortunately I can't repay the treat, it wouldn't be worth while since you wouldn't understand a word of my sermons. You are having a great time and I am so happy for you. It is indeed blessed when we are able to reach out and let the Lord light our steps in new directions!!

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    1. It went very well, thanks, Solveig, as did the one in Dresden. If you email me at the address given in my full profile, I can send you the text of the Dresden sermon. The text of the Prague one is now on the website. I had a truly wonderful time and feel very blessed to have been able to extend my ministry like this, even if one for a brief time.

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  24. Dear Perpetua!!
    I am cut out from most of my favourite blogs! I heard your sermon, it was very good and started my thoughts around that important gospel. I made one comment before and it dissapeared, so I try again!!! Say hello to Ricky, if you are still in Prague, otherwise DH is now enjoying your company!!!

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    1. Sorry you're feeling cut out, Solveig. It's nothing personal, but once any of my posts have been published for more than a week, comment moderation is switched on so that I have to approve comments before publication. That's why your previous comment seemed to disappear. It's just a way of trying to stop spammers posting their links on older posts.
      As you guessed I'm now home again with DH, telling him all about the splendid time I had. :)

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I welcome your comments and will always try to respond to them. Thank you for reading.