Dear all,
As I am writing this, we are flying ca. 11.000 metres above Alicante.

I am returning from Gibraltar where at the Cathedral of Holy Trinity Bishop Robert Innes was installed – or inducted – as the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, our Diocesan Bishop.

The service was wonderful, bringing together people from different parts of the Diocese. Among the guests were the representatives of the local Muslim community in Gibraltar. This is a much needed sign of peace at the time when it is so easy to drawn lines between people of different religions. I had a short chat with them together with the Chaplain of Tanger and the Diocesan Director of Training. We all agreed how important it is to seek for signs of what we share together.

I also met with a Syrian Christian man whose family is trapped in Damascus. I can share his feelings of fear and anxiety over the safety of his loved ones. I promised that we keep him, his family and, all whose seek for refuge and safety in our prayers. Our God is the God of justice and mercy who calls us to pray for all humankind and that all may live in peace and love, with justice and mercy.

Bishop Robert sent his thanks for the card we signed last Sunday and which I was able to give to him during the reception in the Governor General’s residence after the Eucharist. He is looking forward to visiting us at some point in future. Perhaps, once we know more about his schedule, we could arrange a Confirmation service for those who would like to be confirmed?

The Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral sent his greetings to us. We were half joking that perhaps we should invite him for a visit in Helsinki. This is definitely something to think about. Perhaps for the Messiah or the Nine Lessons and Carols and combine to that visit a meeting with our Lutheran partners in mission and service?

I met with the leader of the Mothers’ Union in Europe. She asked if this would be an interest in Helsinki. I was happy to say something about our women’s book group and that perhaps there would be a momentum to look into this. Any volunteers? As she put it; nothing fancy – at least not yet – but information and connecting with other people within the Chaplaincy and the Diocese!

For the peace of the world

Almighty God,
from whom all thought of truth and peace proceed:
kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all, the true love of peace
and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom
those who take counsel for the nations of the earth
that in tranquility your kingdom may go forward,
till the earth be filled with your knowledge of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(CW)

In Christ,
Tuomas
Chaplain

(The title of this post is a quotation from Deuteronomy 7.9 This passage was in the card we gave to Bishop Robert)

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