Yes, it was quite the day! I started out at St. Gabriel's in Monterey Park where I preached and celebrated for the first time solely in Mandarin. Thanks to the good work of both Fr. Peter Lo and Fr. Thomas Ni, I was able to have the service (which included confirmations) put into a bilingual booklet with "pinyin" and Chinese characters. I was able to read a good deal of the characters, but having the pinyin there helped me with the service. Comments included, "you speak so clearly", and "I understood everything you said." Whew! It was also Fr. Peter's birthday, so we were able to sing to him and share cake. The food at this event was amazing -- a delicious fish PLUS a whole roasted pig! Wow! The picture above is of the sanctuary before it burned early this summer. We met and celebrated in 1/2 of the parish hall, which actually years ago WAS the church.
Got home in time to put my feet up for about an hour then changed my clothes and went to the Sixth Day Service at St. Stephen's in Whittier. This is a truly innovative service which started with a group of people at the parish looking around to see who was around the church -- located in a residential area, lots of people walk their dogs outside the church. A "doggie water station" and "clean up bags" were installed outside the parish office. Then the brainstorm -- what about a service for people seeking God -- and their pets! Voila! Brilliant -- it is meeting the needs of people in the neighborhood. Two people, not members of the parish, have attended almost every service. There were over a dozen people and their dogs at this service, which started just a few weeks ago. My own Nigel Bruce (yes, really, that's his name) accompanied me. I was given the privilege of celebrating at this event, and Mary Trainor held Nigel for me. A light dinner followed -- people stayed for fellowship. We sang Happy Birthday to Chris Potter! It was truly a magical time. All the dogs got along very well -- Nigel included (you can see Nigel's picture from a few years ago above). Nigel is doing pretty well for 16!
I wonder how many people will start coming to the Sixth Day Service as word continues to get out about it in the neighborhood. I heard one of the women that has been attending this service with her two dogs say as she was leaving, "next week I'm bringing my neighbor -- she wanted to come today but had a prior commitment." THAT'S evangelism!