In all my years, I don't ever recall having attended a church council meeting at a morning hour. But there's a first time for everything, and this was it, admittedly at a decent ten thirty start time. This was an occasion when the representatives of all three chaplaincy congregations come together to report back to each other, and make whatever decisions are needed touching upon all of them. It gave me a chance to meet worship leaders and church officers, people with whom I shall be working closest in the coming months. The gathering is at a time most suitable for moving around, before it gets too hot to think or work hard. Temperatures are thirty centigrade by day, then twenty three at night.
A dozen of us met in the Vinaròs church centre, 'The Portico' on the edge of the fishing port. It serves as a regular midweek drop-in centre for socialising among English speaking people, and general interface with the wider public. It is also used for worship, and equipped as a chapel. A cuppa and a piece of cake are available along with conversation. Decent second hand clothes and English books are on offer. It's both a place of worship and a church embassy.
Regulations covering such registered social premises, require that nothing is bought or sold, but donations may be received for items taken instead. It was the just same down in Nerja where the chaplaincy has a drop-in centre when we were there last year. Alcossebre and L'Ampolla, the other two congregations each has their own drop in centre serving their local needs. I suspect there are other chaplaincies in Spain which also operate in this way. How marvellous it would be if there was a means for workers in each chaplaincy to exchange ideas with their counterparts elsewhere.
I returned to the Vicarage for lunch, after a drive around town with Michael, to enable me to get my bearings. I wasn't tired enough to slumber, so I tinkered in the office and wrote a Sunday sermon. I will preach it twice, and a lay worship leader will read a copy to worshippers at the third worship service of the day. Having to produce a text to share, as opposed to using as a point of reference for my own preaching is new to me. I shall await feedback a little nervously.
Michael and Pamela invited me for supper. The live about a mile away, and with clear instructions I was able to walk there and back, except that the streets are labelled still with alphabetic letters and not street names. There is no logic to the order, and I had no map and no phone to call for guidance, but eventually I found Calle LL, #1 - but not before I had explored Calle L, J and K en route.
We ate a lovely meal of which the star was slow cooked pig's cheek, something of a rarity in Britain, and we drank with relish a Catalan wine, of Garnacha and a local grape I'd never heard of. There's a lot more to discover than the nuances of Cava. So many new experiences to delight in, plus an end to the day on Skype with my Best Beloved.