A Year in Gothenburg – January

January 22

Another Welcome Fair, this time in Pedagogen, where the students were adept at either walking behind the display tables or straight down the middle, looking neither to left nor to right.

I received a poster about the service of prayer in Smyrna mentioned on New Year’s Day, and sent it round as my weekly letter to church members, also to the other clergy involved in the international service and to my fellow university chaplains.

January 23

When I arrived at 8:00 for Morning Prayer, the electricity was off and the fire alarm beeping.  Since there would be a lunchtime concert, I rang Ron, who came in and sorted it out.

The Gothenburg Film Festival has begun – a week in which one could, in theory, see 50 full-length films.  I bought 10 tickets, but will not be able to use 2 of them because of timetable clashes.

January 25

This Sunday being the Feast of Conversion of St Paul and therefore the second Sunday of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I used readings from Acts 9 for the former and John 4 (the text chosen by Brazilian Christians for WPCU) for the latter, with propers from the EpU (prayers for Unity in the season of Epiphany) section of Times and Seasons.  One of the questions the Brazilian Christians asked was “What are the contemporary issues on which the Churches today need to speak out with one voice?”  Unusually, I asked people to discuss this with their neighbours.  It worked well – some people actually moved along the pew – and if nobody wanted to share their ideas with the whole congregation, never mind!  Lots of birthdays to celebrate today; we sang “Happy Birthday to You” three times.

Ecumenical Prayer Service at Smyrna in the evening.  I’m glad there was one such service within WPCU.

January 31

Confirmation Class in church.  I was pleased that everyone, presented with 11 possible reasons to read the bible, agreed with me on their first choice, “to build a closer relationship with God”.