Friday, February 26, 2010

Pastors' Conference

Today was spent mostly in preparations for next week's pastors' conference.

My first trip to Kenya was last year at this time. Two LC/MS congregations were funding a pastors' conference at the seminary here. The pastors from those congregations (Pastors Douthwaite and Froh) were coming to teach at the conference; Dr. Tim Quill (professor at the sem in Fort Wayne) was coordinating it and teaching also. This hymnal project was born, and I joined the group to observe the worship services, be a part of the official start of the Kenyan Hymnal Commission, and participate in the first planning meetings of the commission.

We were enthusiastically received. The Lutheran community here is gracious and generous, and the pastors and seminary students are very eager to learn. As a result, it was decided to hold a second conference: 1-5 March 2010. Pr. Froh is teaching again, as well as Dr. Quill, and myself. The topic this year is this new hymnal - introducing some parts of it, teaching about liturgy, and about music.

Among the various songbooks/hymnals currently being used in churches, none have music in them. This new hymnal, Ibada Takatifu (Divine Service), will. Very few people can read music, but perhaps the hymnal will be one small step among many in giving the people some music literacy. Along with talking about the importance of liturgy, I plan to teach the basics of reading music, and how to sing this setting.

I'm the only person at the Guest House today, other than the staff, and the solitude has been great for getting prepared and also for relaxing.

I'm not sure how many workers there are here. I'm aware of three young ladies doing household tasks, a couple of young men working in the yard, and a driver. My impression is that this is full time work for all of them and they their pay is mostly room and board. Molly, the head cook, just turned 27 yesterday. I've talked with her more. She considers this her career, although she also hopes to be married someday.

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