From the Chautauqua Institution, NY

Being here reminds me of being at the Arts Festival in Grahamstown when I would go there year after year as the Arts Editor for Radio South Africa (later SAfm), except that was in the dead of winter in July and this is the height of summer in July. It is a feast of Arts, Education and Recreation.  What I had not realized before we came is the strong focus, too, on Religion.  This week the chaplain is the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson (about whom there was controversy for his being the first openly gay Bishop elected in America), and yesterday I twice heard the Episcopalian Presiding Bishop (the equivalent of an Anglican Archbishop).  She is the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, 26th Presiding Bishop, Chief Pastor and Primate of the Episcopal Church.  At the morning service she preached on “Applied  Ethics: Government and the Search for the Common Good”, tying in with the theme of the week.  During the Vespers Service she spoke on “Sharing a Journey of Faith” about her life story becoming the first woman Presiding Bishop. This tied in with the afternoon theme for the week, The Role of Religion in Engaging Citizens fo the Common Good.  She has a beautiful, low, slow way of speaking, has absolute humility, and is very inspiring.

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori

DB gives the first of his week-long series of lectures on Basic Musicianship and Note Grouping this afternoon and then tonight, in celebration of the Fourth of July the plan is to go and hear patriotic music , listen to bell ringing from the famous Chautauqua campanile and watch fireworks over Lake Chautauqua – or to go and celebrate with our friends who live here and are being such generous hosts…such is the fluidity of the scheduling.  It is being a wonderful break for me after juggling two jobs for two months.

Chautauqua Campanile

Lake Chautauqua at Dusk

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