New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie

New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie

Phase 1

Posted: 27 May 2020 06:11 PM PDT

Greetings in the name of our crucified, risen, and now ASCENDED Lord. On Thursday, I attended a TRI-lingual Ascension Day service organized by my missionary colleague Rev. Charles St-Onge. Charles lives in Montreal, Quebec, where he pastors a multicultural SELC congregation coincidentally called Ascension when he’s not island hopping in the Caribbean. Portions of the liturgy were spoken and sung in French and English, and one of the readings was in Mandarin!
Over here in my corner of the Hispanophone world, we’re in Phase 1 of reopening. For me personally, this means very little. The missionary team is still working from home. Churches aren’t permitted to reopen until if and when we successfully transition into Phase 2. That’s scheduled to roll out on Wednesday, June 3, but even then, services and other activities will be permitted on Sundays only. Things like non-essential errands and slowly widening our circles will be navigated with extra grace over the coming weeks based on each of our individual situations. 

It was heartening to see PEOPLE in the pews during this weekend’s services at my home congregation.

I’m connected to SO many pastors in SO many different time zones that I could watch Sunday services from sunup to sundown, but I did branch out and stream a new one this weekend: Zion Lutheran Church in El Paso, TX, where I served for three years as a GEO Missionary. 

My Sunday dinner was – surprise, surprise – two new recipes. I’d make the [frozen and canned, respectively] Green Beans with Stewed Tomatoes and Spices again, but the chicken was out of this world. I’d share the recipe, but it’s in Spanish! No complaints about leftovers this week. 

THE BOTANICAL GARDEN OPENED AGAIN (from 6-8 am for cardholders and essential workers) AS OF MONDAY!!!! All good days start here.  
The best kind of morning runs are the kind that do not require dodging cars, stray dogs, potholes, overturned garbage cans, exhaust fumes, or the like. 

Yep, this is my happy place. 

There are sunflowers taller than me EVERYWHERE. This is my new lock screen background. 

I went on Tuesday, too, and the garden’s Instagram account caught me getting temped as I walked in. Sneaky! Can you see my Kindle in my right hand? I finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in short order. Either it was one of the best books I’ve read in long time (it was) or boredom is setting in. Either way, I’m looking forward to watching the movie on Netflix soon. 

I’m supposed to be tearing my hair out right now as part of the team supporting Concordia the Reformer Seminary’s III Annual Theological Symposium. Instead of attending to ~71 in-person attendees from around the region, though, it’s day 71 of pictures like this one, and I’m part of the Virtual Symposium support team. Last night’s opening session went as well as it could have, no thanks to yours truly, who learned an important lesson about Atlantic Standard Time vs. Atlantic Daylight Time. 
The 73 people on Zoom and 101 on Facebook Live watching the second Symposium keynote as I write this are evidently none the wiser, but I still feel like a royal screw-up. God knows when we need some extra encouragement, though. All month long, my missionary colleague Jamielynn has been posting the missionary women’s favorite hymns in the “Mission Ladies of LAC” WhatsApp group. The idea is that we meditate on the lyrics of each hymn and shower the woman who chose it with prayers. Mine came up today! In typical fashion, I picked a Christmas (Advent) song: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” But, even though we’re nearing Pentecost, we can still “Rejoice! Rejoice!” that “Emmanuel shall come to thee.” And has! And does! 
Until next time, blessings!